The Reclaim Justice Network, in partnership with Women in Prison have launched a new Reclaim Holloway website and petition.
Holloway prison is due to be closed this summer and the land will likely be sold to property developers to build luxury flats that very few people can afford. We believe that the prison’s closure is an opportunity to protect and invest in community facilities and women’s support services, such as for domestic violence and mental health. Please sign the petition and support our campaign.
In May 2016, a demonstration was organised by the Reclaim Justice Network and Islington Kill the Housing Bill. Labour leader and local MP, Jeremy Corbyn, spoke at the start of the march from London Metropolitan University to Holloway prison. He said the site must be used for council homes with secure tenancies and a women’s centre.
A member of the Reclaim Justice Network, speaking at the demo, said
“We want facilities and housing and places of safety for the women of London. The land at Holloway is our property. It is owned by the public and we must not give it up. We want social justice, not criminal justice.
We want council homes, not prisons and we need services not prison sentences.”
Clare Cain, Campaigns Manager for the charity Women in Prison and writing for politics.co.uk explains why we want to see a different approach and the thinking behind the campaign;
“Solving the housing crisis will go a long way to reducing the prison population. Many women who are released from prison are forced into homelessness. Often their only options on release are to stay in an exploitative environment revolving around substance misuse, return to an abusive partner, street homelessness, or go back to prison. At WIP we’ve met women who are eligible for licence and release from prison but continue to be held inside because they have nowhere else to live. Prisons are being used as cover for the grave shortfall in housing and this urgently needs to be addressed.”
- Corbyn backs calls for affordable homes as marchers tell prison site developers: ‘There’s no Boris to rescue you now’, Islington Tribune
- HMP Holloway Closure: Organisations demand social housing be built, Rosie Quigley, SoundCloud
- “Women in Prison”, Letter to the Daily Telegraph
- Can Labour councils defy the Tories new Housing Bill?, Socialist Worker
- Photographs of the Holloway march and demonstration taken by Peter Marshall
- All #ReclaimHolloway content on our website.