Specially converted sea containers imported from China are to be turned into temporary jails to ease the British prisons overcrowding crisis, The Observer has learned.
The plan is to have the modules installed in five prisons by June at a cost of Â£3.5m each. Prisons earmarked for the new units include Stoke Heath Young Offenders Institution in Shropshire and Wayland Prison in Norfolk.
The government has also placed an order for two large-scale units comprising five containers bolted together and capable of holding 300 prisoners apiece. These larger modules will require planning permission, which means they are unlikely to be introduced until the end of the year. It is understood Rochester Prison in Kent has been identified as one possible site for the new units.