A secure college for young offenders will be open in Glen Parva by spring 2017 being the first of its kind in England and Wales.
Costing around £85 million, the college will house 320 young offenders, aged 12 – 17 years, from the East Midlands and the East of England.
With a high youth offenders ratio, the building has been well-thought out, with accommodation available for the different vulnerable groups.
It aims to cut down the amount of reoffending caused by offenders who leave prison without any existing skills.
Justice Minister Andrew Selous said: “It’s going to have education right at its heart. What we want to do is give young offenders the skills, the qualifications and the ability to not re-offend. The average cost at the moment of youth custody is £100,000 per person, per place. So we think we can get consistently better results for greater value for money for the tax payer in order to keep people safe by putting education right at the heart of youth custody.”
He adds: “We believe we will run a safe and secure establishment that will significantly cut reoffending. “
With around 290 businesses contributing in the construction of the site and three quarters of the contracts going to local sub-contractors – local businesses will be boosted.
Phil Harrison of Wates Construction: “Theres a large number of job opportunities here, both in terms of apprentices for young people and for trade on site. The site will be populated for 250 individual people and I see a big path of success here of those coming from the local community.”
It hopes that young offenders will spend their time out of institutions as apprentices.
Marion Plant, Principal of South Leicestershire College told us: “We’re very excited about the announcement and very excited now we’re at the stage that we’ve got the build programme secure. The college is hoping that we will be able to supply apprentices to Wates first and foremost, but also to subcontractors, because of course, apprenticeship training is a very big part of what we do.”