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“Building new prisons to support the construction industry” is grim even for this chronically misguided Ministry of Justice.
Given that @MoJGovUK is presently threatening to tear up our centuries-old right to jury trial because of the court backlog, here’s an idea:

Spend that £2.5bn earmarked for prisons on building new, modern courts. And use them to hold safe jury trials to clear the backlog.

It’s a hallmark of this government that they would rather spend billions building new prisons than a fraction of that sum ensuring that the people we’re sending there are actually guilty.
Justice does not exist to “contribute to the economy”, or get the construction sector out of a slump. It exists to underpin civil society. It is pursued as an evident good in itself; its inherent quality, not how much money it can make for the government, should be our aim.
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