Adam Johnson is being moved to a new Category C prison, with the transfer likely within the next week.
This is according to The Sun, who reported earlier this week that Johnson will avoid being sent to a tough Category A prison despite his six-year sentence after being found guilty of sexual activity with a child.
It was initially expected that Johnson would end up at HMP Holme House - a Category B prison - in County Durham; however, the disgraced former footballer is instead heading to Moorland jail near Doncaster.
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It’s understood that his new prison features a pool room, well-equipped gym, sports hall and an all-weather football pitch.
“Johnson will be able to keep fit and, if they think it safe, play football,” a source told The Sun. “Moorland doesn’t hold more dangerous prisoners likely to attack him. Officials are concerned about that due to his high profile.”
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Johnson avoided tougher prison following risk assessment
Johnson avoided being sent to a Category A cell after he was reportedly “risk assessed” by officials who were keen to ensure the chances of him being attacked by fellow inmates were reduced.
The report adds that sex offenders at Moorland are paid to translate children’s books into braille - and this might be one of Johnson’s tasks when he arrives.
Appeal has been lodged
The 28-year-old is hoping to have his sentence reduced after lodging an official appeal earlier this week.
Johnson’s sister Faye, who runs the ‘Adam Johnson’s Appeal Fight’ Facebook page, posted: “Adam's appeal against his sentence has now been lodged! Thanks everyone for your support it means a lot! X”.
Johnson struggling at current prison
Johnson, in the meantime, will be relieved to get away from his current surroundings.
The former Sunderland and England winger has been on suicide watch since being sentenced last month, has lost half-a-stone after refusing to eat prison food due to fears that fellow inmates will spit in it, and is currently sharing his prison wing with a ‘twisted sex abuse gang’.
Could he continue playing after his release?
If Johnson’s sentence is reduced on appeal, there’s a slim chance that his professional football career might not be over.
The Sunday People reported at the weekend that Johnson expects to serve only “two years” of his sentence and plans to continue playing following his release.
Finding a club willing to take on a convicted sex offender, however, is likely to prove difficult - if not impossible.
Should Adam Johnson be allowed to move to a Category C prison? Have your say by leaving a comment below.