Holloway prisoners begin the move to Downview prison in Surrey today

Jeremy Corbyn backs calls for the Holloway Prison site to be affordable housing once it is demolishe

Jeremy Corbyn backs calls for the Holloway Prison site to be affordable housing once it is demolished. Picture: Rebecca Naden/PA - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

Two hundred inmates at Holloway Prison are today preparing to move 20 miles away to Downview prison in Surrey.

The move was announced last year following a government decision to close the prison in Parkhurst Road because of “significant design limits and a challenging physical environment”.

The Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL), which provides healthcare at the prison, is putting together a new team at Downview ahead of the prisoners’ arrival. It will also bring in a team of emergency care support workers to give out medication, deal with emergencies and promote health.

Area Manager Zoe Newton said: “It’s going to be a big change and improvement for prisoners who previously would have spent their time in custody in a large London female prison.

“They will need time to adjust to their new environment. To help them, we are providing information about the new services in advance of their transfer and we will provide a visible presence to allow the women to ask questions when they need to.”

She added: “This is a very exciting time. Opening new services presents a challenge in itself, not least to get the things right that we may not have done previously, but also allows us an opportunity to share our knowledge of working with women with staff who have previously only worked with men.”

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: “We want to make sure women prisoners serve their sentences in more humane surroundings that support their rehabilitation, maintain strong family ties and keep them out of crime.”