North East jail may need to “make room”

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A NORTH EAST jail is said to be among prisons told to make room for more offenders after cuts.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has said he is taking “sensible steps” to deal with a rise in prisoner numbers, after it was reported that 34 full and overcrowded jails are being told to accommodate more inmates.

Durham is said to be one, along with Leeds and Leicester.

Labour said the news that 40 institutions – all but six already at full capacity or beyond – need to find room for extra inmates, is the consequence of the Government’s decision to shut 17 other jails, and accused ministers of “incompetence”.

Documents have been seen which show the prisons in England and Wales had been told to raise their “operational capacity” in the next two months, to accept 440 more inmates between them.