Capacity is being expanded at six jails over the coming weeks in a bid to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. At the same time, low-risk offenders within two months of their release date are being let out early.
Each modular building will contain a single prison cell. According to one report, they will be adapted shipping containers.
Installation of temporary accommodation starts this week at HMP North Sea Camp, with HMPs Littlehey, Hollesley Bay, Highpoint, Moorland, Lindholme and Humber to follow. These were chosen because they have the highest number of shared cells, lack in-cell sanitation and house high numbers of vulnerable prisoners.
Further prisons could be chosen based on whether the extra accommodation is needed and if there is sufficient space.
Lord chancellor and justice secretary Robert Buckland said: “Our absolute priority is to protect the NHS and save lives, which is why we have taken unprecedented steps to stop the spread of Coronavirus in our jails. Creating additional space in the existing estate, alongside measures to limit prisoner movement and releasing low-risk offenders, will help prevent our NHS being overwhelmed.”