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Eversheds has been instructed by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to help it establish the procurement framework for its multibillion-pound newbuild prisons PFI programme.
As part of the scheme, the MoJ will establish a framework of up to seven private sector partners. These partners will then compete for each of the prisons.
Eversheds is also advising the MoJ on the first prison in the five-prison scheme, at Runwell in Essex.
Each of the new prisons is intended to house up to 1,500 prisoners, bringing the total prison capacity in England and Wales to 96,000.
The venture comes against the backdrop of a rising prison population and calls from the Prison Governors Association for short-term sentences to be scrapped in favour of community sentences because they are seen as being ineffective at reforming prisoners and too costly.
Jonathan Cripps, head of Eversheds’ project and infrastructure finance group, said: “We’re delighted to have the opportunity of supporting the MoJ on the New Prisons Programme. We’re confident that the framework approach will be a very effective and efficient procurement method.”
Cripps was assisted by associate Will Lewis.
Eversheds also advised the MoJ on PFI prisons at Belmarsh West and Maghull (The Lawyer, 20 July).