Freedom News

Emergency callout as government sneaks in megaprison consultation

Yorkshire Campaign Against Prisons (YCAP) has caught the state slipping through a late-notice “consultation” over its massive new East Yorkshire project. Their submissions callout, deadlined at end of this month, is below.

The residents of Port Talbot, South Wales, successfully stopped plans to build a mega prison. Now its East Yorkshire’s turn. The government’s intentions of expanding the reprehensible prison industrial complex – by creating 10,000 new prison places – are moving forward, with planning permission documents submitted on January 18th to move forward with development at Full Sutton in East Yorkshire. Yorkshire Campaign Against Prisons (YCAP) — a grassroots coalition — are calling on everyone who opposes the harms enacted by prisons to submit objections to the proposed development urgently. You don’t need to live locally to Yorkshire to do this!

Building more prisons means more people will be locked up. And by locking up more people, the government and private companies benefit more and more from increased profits and surveillance of the population. Even before the development of mega prisons there is an extensive web of courts, police, prisons, detention centres and surveillance equipment — as well as the companies that profit from feeding and exploiting prisoners. Plans to extend prisons will only increase the profit margins for corporations as the plans for the prison in Yorkshire demonstrate — the new prison would be category C, a ‘training prison’ with more space to exploit prisoners in workshops within the prison. The projected build cost is £91m, an “investment” to make a profit out of prison labour.

Simultaneously, those incarcerated are blamed for all of society’s problems – scapegoated for centuries of capitalism and white supremacy. However much the government depicts prisoners as “dangerous” it doesn’t change the reality that it is the most marginal people who are locked in cages. And making more spaces in prisons — in the case of Full Sutton — 1,017 spaces over a massive 38,217 square metres — will only extend this penalisation and criminalisation. The only people prisons serve are those with the social and economic power to dominate others.

Stopping further prison expansion is a logical step in dismantling the prison industrial complex completely. YCAP are using a variety of means to stop the development of a mega prison in East Yorkshire, actively organising to resist the prison in the coming months ahead. Currently they are mobilising people to submit objections to the most recent planning permission documents on the grounds of the social, economic and environmental problems development will cause to the local area, as well as due to concerns that the site may be radiologically contaminated having previously been used to store nuclear weapons.

Registering your objections can take as little as five minutes, as YCAP, alongside Community Action Against Prison Expansion (CAPE) have compiled a comprehensive list of possible objections, as well as instructions on how to leave comments, on their website. Do it now, as the deadline to submit comments is the end of the month. It may not stop the prison being built forever, but any delay is important in buying time to strengthen resistance to the planned development.

Get involved with CAPE and read more about the details of the prison expansion plans covered by Corporate watch in the Prison Island Report.

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