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Weare was originally known as Bibby Resolution, a barge to accommodate troops after the Falklands conflict of 1982. The Bibby Resolution was brought from the Falkland Islands to New York for use as a floating detention facility to house prisoners. It was leased for five years. By 1997 it was decided by the Prison Service that a ship could be used as a short term measure to deal with the rapidly rising prison population, and after a formal planning application was agreed the Bibby Resolution, now HMP Weare, was brought from New York. Weare has a certified normal accommodation of 400. Inmates are housed in a five-storied cell block. They are in four lines with each pair flanking a narrow corridor. Between each of these pairs there is an open space which provides light for the inside lines of cells. These cells have unbarred windows, whilst those facing out to sea have bars. None of the windows open. Air conditioning is provided. The cells measure 12 feet by 8 feet and contain double bunks, a WC and shower room. A large gymnasium is on the top floor and there is a small outdoor exercise area on the top deck of the ship. Additional exercise areas are provided on shore.

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