FEARS over the future of prison services on the Isle of Wight have been raised following today's announcement Camp Hill is to close.
Camp Hill is one of nine sites around the country due to be shut following an announcement by Secretary of State for Justice Chris Grayling.
Richard Knox, of the Isle of Wight Prison Officers Association, said about 80 prison officers and 200 staff could be affected by the decision.
He said they had only learned of the decision at 9.30am and there had been no consultation.
"We were absolutely shocked that they could sell off a performing prison just for the cost of the land," said Mr Knox.
"Once they take one jail, I suspect the rest will follow," said Mr Knox, who accused Conservatives of putting money before public safety and warned the decision would have a significant impact on the Isle of Wight economy.
He said they had been told there would be no compulsory redundancies at this stage, but that it was unclear what would happen to staff as there was a shortage of alternative vacancies.
Prisoners could be moved from the jail by as early as April, according to Mr Knox.