This morning members of Community Action on Prison Expansion occupied the London office of Sodexo, the company which runs HMP Bronzefield, where a new-born baby tragically died after their mother was left to give birth alone in her cell on 27th September.
Whilst the government has announced it will conduct investigations into the violent neglect and ultimate death of the child, CAPE believe such procedures are an inadequate response to structural and systemic violence enacted through the criminal justice system, a system in which 107 women have died since 2007.
Caren, an attendee of the protest, notes “Sodexo is part of an industry designed to enforce the state’s racist, sexist and classist agenda through the controlling of marginalised communities.” While companies like Sodexo, Kier, G4S and Serco continue to profit off of mass incarceration and prison expansion, women and children are made to suffer in the dehumanizing conditions of their prison facilities.
A representative of CAPE explains, “Incarceration is inhumane, it is child abuse, and it has resulted in the death of a new-born child. No-one belongs in a cage. Free the mothers! Free the children! Free them all!”
The protestors from CAPE demand that the government stop investing in new prisons, and expanding existing ones. They oppose the re-commitment made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to create ten-thousand new prison places in the form of mega prisons in East Yorkshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire. Instead of spending vast amounts of money on building these prisons, the group demand that this money be invested in the social services communities desperately need. The group also call for the implementation of de-carceration strategies and schemes that facilitate decreasing the number of people inside the violent and unjust prison system.
There were no arrests as a result of the action.