The architects behind Wellingborough's new prison have released more images of what it will look like, and say it will "promote positive behaviour while maintaining high levels of security".
The prison site was the centre of a protest last Friday (August 9) by an anti-incarceration group which says the prison will not serve the needs of the community and that its construction is just lining the pockets of private companies.
But the architects of the new facility, which is due to open in late 2021, say they have designed a new type of facility for prisons in the UK based on rehabilitation and reducing reoffending rates.
A spokesman for the firm, Bryden Wood, said: "The project is part of a new £1.2 billion prison-building programme undertaken in partnership with the Ministry of Justice, to maximise the rehabilitation of inmates and break the cycle of reoffending which costs tax payers £13 billion annually.
"In the largest research project of its kind Bryden Wood interviewed prison governors, staff, prisoners and their families, support groups as well as leading academics who have examined the links between design and prison violence. The resulting lay-out promotes positive behaviour, whilst maintaining high levels of security.
"Key features include: Victorian-style gallery blocks with a warden’s desk at one end have been abandoned in favour of a central staff station which encourages interaction between staff and prisoners.
"The new blocks will have small, 20 person spurs with courtyard spaces, offering prisoners opportunities to learn gardening and other skills.
"Cell windows will not have bars but will be secured and sealed with toughened glass to reduce noise, stop waste being thrown from windows and prevent prisoners accessing drugs and mobile phones. The windows are not openable but have adjustable ventilation.
"Providing indoor and outdoor spaces within the prison for visitations for inmates' families
"Central hubs that provide education, vocational training, social facilities and faith spaces."
Jaimie Johnston, Director and Head of Global Systems at Bryden Wood, said: “Our philosophy is to take an evidence-based approach to prison design. Our design is aimed at helping prisoners out of a cycle of re-offending. This not only cuts costs for tax-payers but also delivers a wider benefit in terms of safety and security to society as a whole.”
Adrian Scott, Executive Director of Change, Strategy and Planning at Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service said: “We are committed to building modern, decent prison places to provide offenders with the conditions required to turn their lives around and ultimately keep the public safe.”