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New prison enters transition phase 14 January 2008

CONSTRUCTION work at the new prison at Jurby is substantially complete and the site has now entered a transition phase.

Following early handover to the Department of Home Affairs of the Works Unit last September, finishing of the main prison building is continuing. Prison Service staff have been able to proceed with a structured and co-ordinated programme of commissioning and familiarisation, although the planned formal handover of the site to the Department did not take place as scheduled before Christmas.

Home Affairs Minister Martyn Quayle MHK said:

‘The transition from construction site to fully functioning prison is not a simple matter of handing over a set of keys. Personnel from contractors, engineers and installers are required to provide hands-on training for prison officers and maintenance staff prior to transferring prisoners from Victoria Road, Douglas.
‘For security purposes, the fitting of cell and gate locking devices is the Department’s responsibility and this is underway in conjunction with integrating those locks with alarm and communications systems.’
Mr Quayle added: ‘Formal completion of the contract works scheduled for December 13, 2007, was not achieved and the Christmas/New Year holiday combined with particularly adverse weather has hampered completion of some external areas. This together with the finalisation of testing and commissioning of the extensive mechanical, electrical and IT installations, has necessitated the contractor continuing work on site into the New Year. However, the removal of site offices, plant and equipment has commenced and the Department is looking forward to the Isle of Man Prison, Jurby, becoming operational during April 2008.’

The new prison is the Government’s largest current capital project. It will provide improved educational and rehabilitative regimes for prisoners when it becomes operational.

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