STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Social housing and criminal justice campaigners will march on 14 May 2016 (1) in Islington to demand 50% ‘genuinely affordable’ council housing and community services on the 10-acre HMP Holloway prison site.
HMP Holloway women’s prison in North London, is closing as part of wider government reforms to close old prisons and build 9 new institutions. It is suspected the site at Holloway will be sold to property developers for luxury flats, when there are 18,000 families on the Islington housing waiting list alone. The prison site is public land and should be used for public housing.
Many of the women in Holloway prison, who have now been transferred to prisons outside London, were vulnerable and homeless before they were sentenced. Good quality, safe, low cost council housing and decent services would have prevented many entering criminal justice in the first place.
The demonstration is organised by Reclaim Justice Network, Islington Kill the Housing Bill and Islington Hands off our Public Services (2) in support of the Kill the Housing Bill and Reclaim Holloway! Campaigns (3).
Notes for editors
(1) The demonstration will rally outside London Metropolitan University (Holloway Road) and march to Holloway Prison at 11:30am, to begin marching at 12:00pm. Local and national speakers, along with MPs are invited.
(2) Reclaim Justice Network is a collaboration of individuals, advocacy groups, practitioners, researchers and people most directly affected by criminal justice systems, who are working together to radically reduce the size and scope of criminal justice systems and to build effective and socially just alternatives. Learn more at downsizingcriminaljustice.wordpress.com
Islington Hands off our Public Services (IHOOPS) is a broad based non-sectarian coalition of local people and groups united to defend our local public services. The coalition is open to any organisation that shares our aims of defending our public services against cuts. Lean more at www.islingtonhandsoffourpublicservices.wordpress.com
Islington Kill the Housing Bill is a community led campaign against the current Housing Bill, which will destroy council and social housing. They demand secure homes for all and rent controls. Learn more at www.killthehousingbill.wordpress.com
(3) Reclaim Holloway! is a campaign demanding the Holloway site is used for council housing, including a hub for women’s support services. Learn more at reclaimholloway.org.uk