The rally yesterday afternoon in central London was drawing attention to private companies which are profiting from increased rates of policing and incarceration – part of the Americanisation of the British prisons sector.
Campaigners gathered outside Kier’s regional office at 33 Foley Street as it is cashing in on the construction of two new giant facilities in Northamptonshire and Leicestershire.
Ari, a member of the Campaign Against Prisons Expansion who was at the rally, said: “They should be building council housing and schools, or restoring cuts to domestic violence refuges and improving conditions within them, but instead the Tories are powering on with this prison expansion scheme at the public’s expense.”
CAPE called yesterday’s demonstration to object to the government’s investment in more prisons while communities affected by austerity continue to access housing and support services. These private companies profit from increased rates of policing and incarceration while the British public is worrying about post-Brexit food shortages, the housing crisis and refuges for domestic violence survivors are being closed down.
Protesters called for Kier and all other companies profiting through these prison development projects to reject such contracts. They are demanding the Ministry of Justice scrap all prison expansion plans and instead focus on reducing the prison population.
The Prison Estates Transformation Programme aims to create 10,000 new prison places by 2020 through the construction of six mega prisons and five new ‘residential centres’ for women. According to Corporate Watch, the programme is expected to cost £1.3 billion, much of which will be paid to private companies who are expected to turn a huge profit. The first of these to begin construction are HMP Wellingborough in Northamptonshire and HMP Glen Parva, Leicestershire.
Pics courtesy of CAPE