Fighting the Mega-Prisons: Privatisation Endangers Lives

SWAN offers solidarity to MANCHESTER NO PRISONS and asks you to read the following written by them:

‘British prisons are currently recognised as undergoing one of the most serious deteriorations of conditions in living memory, recently exposed as being the most violent ever recorded. In this article about the damning autumn 2015 inspection of Leicester Prison, the government is quoted as saying it will spend £1.3billion on improving the prison estate over the next five years. In reality, in November 2015 the British government announced plans to build 9 new mega-prisons across England and Wales. Far from resolving any of the prison estate’s serious underlying structural issues, these massive, minimally staffed facilities are only going to subject greater numbers of vulnerable people to their abusive conditions.

The location and construction company of the proposed new Manchester prison are still unknown, but like all of the nine new mega-prisons earmarked for construction across the country, it will be privately funded, built and run.  The rationale behind the policies of building such large private prisons (holding more than 1,000 prisoners) is that they are relatively cheap and can operate on lower staff numbers (who are on lower wages) than public sector prisons.  The escalation of the privatisation of the penal system is damaging both for staff and prisoners: there are higher recorded incidents of harm, violence, injury and death in private prisons and much greater sense of insecurity, stress and fear among all.  It places profits above the care of people.  It is time we said no to such damaging policies.  No Prisons Manchester.

Manchester No Prisons is a grass roots abolitionist organisation that is fighting against the planned mega-prison in Manchester and the expansion of the Prison-Industrial Complex generally.  The group was formed in April 2016 and is currently active in both interrogating Greater Manchester Combined Authority [GMCA] regarding their plans for the location and building of the new prison and building a local anti-prison campaign. 

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We want to develop a network of service users, practicitioners, academics and students to support radical and progressive social work. We need a social work that is ready to challenge oppressive practice, that means working collectively across the country and internationally to advance Social Work.