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In its manifesto ahead of the 2015 general election, the Conservative Party stated its intention to close “old, inefficient prisons” and to build larger new prisons, as well as implement other reforms. The plan to replace old prisons with new ones was repeated in more detail in the November 2015 Spending Review and Autumn Statement. Two reviews have also been announced by the Ministry of Justice, one into the education of adults in custody and a second into the youth justice system.

In July 2015, the report of the Harris Review into self-inflicted deaths in custody of 18–24 year olds was published. This report included 108 recommendations for changes in the prison system, in order to reduce such deaths. The Government published its response to the Review in December 2015. In its response, the Government fully accepted 29 of the recommendations, and listed a further 16 as ‘agree—already adopted’. The Government also rejected 33 of the recommendations.

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