Half-empty super prison is ‘on track’, says UK government

The Ministry of Justice has insisted the operation of a widely criticised new “super-prison” near Wrexham remains on track, even though HMP Berwyn remains half-empty 16 months after opening.The department said that because of a “deliberate phased population increase” the prison — the biggest and most modern in England and Wales — holds only 1,072 prisoners, against a capacity of 2,100.Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said the occupation of the prison, which opened in February 2017, was advancing far more slowly than expected and blamed the slow progress on fundamental design problems.