Two of the MPs I work for, Hywel and Elfyn, have both campaigned for years now for a prison in North Wales. Though both think that the prison system is flawed in itself and should be drastically reformed, they see that there is still a need for a prison to serve the local population. This is particularly important in terms of Welsh language provision for prisoners, as well as meaning that prisoners would be held closer to their families which is particularly important for women and young offenders.
Out of the four possible sites for a new prison in Wales announced by David Hanson yesterday, Caernarfon seems to be the only logical choice. With the new court now being built in Caernarfon, it would make sense to also have a prison there and make it the centre for law in North Wales. This may even attract a chamber for barristers in Caernarfon, which would be a huge boost to the local economy. The prison would also create a number of jobs for local people - something which is definitely needed in North Wales. The Ferodo site would be ideal for a prison - its high time something was built there - and I truly hope that people will support the proposal.
Local people may well be wary of having a prison built in Caernarfon, but the truth is that crime rates tend to fall in an area which has a prison as it serves as a form of deterrent.
Personally, I feel that its essential this prison comes to Caernarfon. Being closer to home would make it easier to implement rehabilitation schemes for those prisoners, as well as providing a boost to the local economy in terms of jobs etc. Yes, I can understand why people are wary but the benefits outweight the negatives in my opinion. That's why I will be supporting any campaign for this prison, hand in hand with supporting a campaign to reform the prison and probation service as a whole. Building new prisons do not solve the fundamental problems within our society....