An open unit that will let female lags have sleepovers with their children is being built at one of the country’s most infamous prisons.
The facility is to be constructed in the grounds of the HMP Send as part of a £150millin programme to provide for 500 extra spaces at women’s prisons.
The upcoming 100-place unit on the grounds of HMP Send, home to Britain’s worst female paedophile Vanessa George, inset, is slated to be ready by 2025 and will include rooms for women’s children to stay overnight.
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A source said it was not designed for conjugal visits, but so women could stay “connected” to their loved-ones while banged up.
The plans for the open unit for families were revealed by Abbie Gardener, deputy governor of Send, who told the #SheMatters Criminal Justice Conference: “In 2025 we are going to have an open prison attached to Send. I saw the plans yesterday and it has all been designed with accommodation for families to stay – and looks amazing.”
Youngsters under the age of 12 will be allowed to stay overnight with their mothers, and only those deemed “low risk offenders”.
Send, near Woking, Surrey, has a higher proportion of prisoners serving life than any other UK women’s jail.
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George is just one of the notorious residents at the Category C, 282-capacity nick. She was jailed for abusing at least 30 children in her care at Little Ted’s nursery in Plymouth before she was freed in 2019.
Monster mum Mairead Philpott was also banged up at Send after serving half of her 17-year manslaughter jail term for her role in a 2012 blaze that killed her six children, aged five to 13.
Send’s cell doors have been painted lilac in the past and it has been branded a “cushy jail” by inmates as it focuses on teaching inmates a trade so they can land work when they are freed.
A report in 2012 showed it also has a Buddhist shrine, a gym and an on-site hairdresser and only one segregation cell for punishment.
A Prison Service spokesperson said: “The new unit allowing young children to stay with their mothers will help them to reform and cut crime.”
A source stressed the unit was not a move towards making the whole of HMP Send an open jail.
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