Governor of new £250m super-prison plans to build strong links with university
28 April 2016
The new governor of Wrexham’s new £250million super-prison claims the economic benefit to the region will last for generations.
Whilst visiting Criminology and Criminal Justice students at Wrexham Glyndwr University last week HMP Berwyn’s first governor, Russ Trent, revealed £27.1 million has so far been spent on the prison build and is expected to spend £30 million locally by the time of completion and hire 100 apprenticeships.
Russ said: “Our forecasts will reach target no problem at all. Berwyn will save tens of millions of pounds of tax payers’ money year on year.
“We will hire thousands of people and in 100 years from now HMP Berwyn will still be employing local people.
“The economic benefit for Wrexham will be there for generations.”
Russ spoke frankly to Wrexham Glyndwr University students last week about how he wishes to run the largest prison in the UK and target employees who will share those values.
He said: “It’s an honour helping plan the opening of Berwyn. My personal belief on how to hold 2,106 men is to offer them future orientation and hope.
“I realise as a victim of a crime we want the offender to be punished but as a society we want them to be rehabilitated too.”
HMP Berwyn will be a rehabilitative prison, where the men will receive help according to their needs, from education and vocational training to substance abuse treatment.
Russ confirmed Berwyn will not be holding sex offenders and will only house category C prisoners and a small percentage of Category B.
The prison will consist of three sections with about 700 beds in each area – broken down by house colours – with each colour holding 88 beds and two beds to a room.
Russ added: “It’s my vision to create the best environment for men to change their lives.
“When Berwyn first opens we will open 66 beds up a week to house men from other prisons already serving their sentence.”
Speaking on recruitment he added: “I have met with university representatives already and we wish to work closely together and build trust with our neighbours.
“Research and recruitment is really important to me. I want local 14-15-year-olds to think about going into this profession and therefore attend Wrexham Glyndwr University with the aim of working in Berwyn.
“There could be a kid in Wrexham right now that could be the governor of HMP Berwyn one day.”
Dr Iolo Madoc-Jones, principal lecturer of Criminology and Criminal Justice, said: “HMP Berwyn will be the largest prison in the UK and one of the biggest in Europe.
“We are very lucky to have the prison’s key individual speak to our students and give an insight into how it will be ran and about the challenges this industry faces and the future of Berwyn.”
For more information on Wrexham Glyndwr University’s Criminology and Criminal Justice course visit www.glyndwr.ac.uk/en/Undergraduatecourses/CriminologyandCriminalJustice/
HMP Berwyn governor Russ Trent is pictured with Wrexham Glyndwr University Criminology and Criminal Justice students.