RJN News: September 2016

Campaign updates

Reclaim Holloway

Following the closure of HMP Holloway, the Reclaim Justice Network has been working with others to build the Reclaim Holloway campaign for council housing and services on the site of the prison. HMP Holloway is public land. Reclaim Justice Network in partnership with Women in Prison are building a broad-based, local campaign to ensure the site is protected for benefit of women, Londoners and the local community. Build homes not prisons!

  • The government has announced it will be selling the site and investing the money in the building of 5 new prisons by 2020. Agents Bilfinger GVA have been instructed to advise on the sale of the site.
  • Recent news sources report that up to 5,000 homes could be built on the 10 acre site, netting as much as £2 billion for developers. The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies have queried this, suggesting a more likely figure is 500 – with an average cost of £500,000.
  • Women in Prison are currently exhibiting a patchwork quilt, Bird Word, created by women in HMP Holloway in 2012. The exhibition is only open to MPs and Peers, but we will be posting more information on our website soon.
  • You can still support our Reclaim Holloway campaign by signing and sharing it.
  • If you are a local resident of the Holloway area, a campaign group or organisation wanting to get involved with Reclaim Holloway, please contact us at reclaimjusticenetwork@gmail.com

Stop G4S

The government is in line to give G4S the contract for a discrimination hotline, despite the serious human rights breaches the private firm has committed.

  • Liberty has written a letter to the government, expressing concern over the decision to allow G4S to run the Equality Advisory and Support Service. Human rights and equality groups, including Inquest, endorsed the letter and supporting statement that detailed G4S vast list of sexism, racism, discrimination and mistreatment of vulnerable people in the firm’s care. The letter can be read here.
  • SumOfUs has started a petition to tell Justine Greening, the Minister for Women and Equalities, that G4S shouldn’t be handed the helpline due to the company’s record of abuse and assault. Please join the Reclaim Justice Network in signing and publicising the petition.
  • Members of the Reclaim Justice Network have taken action against G4S every year at their AGM, questioning the international security firm on recent scandals. Read the report on 2016’s meeting here.

No More Prisons

Justice Secretary, Liz Truss, recently confirmed at the Justice Select Committee that 5 new prisons would be built by the end of this parliamentary session, despite not knowing whereabouts or with what budget. The Justice Select Committee has published the transcript, with discussion of future prison builds starting at Q31.

  • We oppose the Ministry of Justice’s ‘prison building revolution’. You can see our statement and sign our moratorium on all new prison buildings here.
  • The Network are critical of plans to modernise the prison estate through new prison buildings. The Ministry of Justice recently projected the prison population in 2021, will still be 84,000.

News

Events

  • Exploring Harm and Evidence is an all day event intending to critically engage with notions of harm and evidence across the criminal justice system and public and private institutions. Click here for more information and registration details.
  • Various organisations, think tanks and housing activists have come together to present Land for What? A two day conference on 12th and 13th November in North London, to tackle the housing crisis and widening inequality. Reclaim Justice Network will be running a workshop on our Reclaim Holloway campaign. Read more about Land for What and register for the conference here.
  • The Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign are hosting an all day event on many current issues of injustice. The event, Agitate, Organise, Resist: Justice Conference 2016 will be held in Sheffield on 1st
  • Our friends at Empty Cages Collective are holding workshops on the prison industrial complex and new prison builds in Hull, Leeds, Durham, Manchester, Lancaster and Sheffield as part of their Northern tour. The workshops will be held in collaboration with the Incarcerated Workers Organising Committee.
  • The Royal Society of Medicine is hosting a day panel event on Suicide in Custody and the Harris Review – Lessons Learnt on 14th
  • The London Anarchist Bookfair is taking place on 29th October in North London, including a workshop on the New Frontlines Against Prisons.
  • The Birkbeck Institute for Social Research are holding an event on Risk and Vulnerability in Prison Populations, discussing the social, legal and ethical complexities of incarcerating such a large population, when the majority are non-violent.

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Thank you for your ongoing support!

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