About the North Wales Prison Project:
- The prison will be the second largest prison in Europe.
- The prison will hold more than 2100 people.
- The prison will cost £250 million to build.
- It will be built on a former firestone site on the Wrexham Industrial Estate. The finished prison will cover up 76,370sqm of floor space containing 13 buildings and have a height ranging from 8.5m to 15.5m.
- Australian contractor Lend Lease was awarded the contract to build the Wrexham titan prison by the government in May 2014.
- Local people have resisted the prison for over half a decade; objecting to planning applications, lobbying, going to meetings. Full planning permission was eventually granted in November 2014 despite local resistance.
Why oppose the North Wales Prison Project?
1. We are told that safety of all kinds, including economic security, can be guaranteed by watching, controlling and caging the groups of people who suffer most because of poverty, racism or other forms of oppression. Within Reclaim the Fields we reject this myth and work to create a world where humans are no longer kept in cages.
2. We need to show an act of resistance that sends a message that you cannot imprison us any longer. All prison expansion projects will be met with resistance. Prisoners will no longer be invisible in our society.
3. To stop further expansion plans, to deter companies wanting to profit from this cages and to empower more people that we can change our futures.
4. We fight to stop the construction of the prison because it will harm people if it is built. 2100 is not a static population, it is a dynamic one, and thousands will be affected.
5. We fight for prison abolition because prisons do not meet our needs in any way. We believe that:
- Prisons perpetuate and enable violence – Prisons are violent institutions. People inside experience human rights abuses, including sexual assault, rape and medical neglect. The act of putting people in cages is a form of violence in itself.
- Prisons increase rates of self harm & suicide – There are incredibly high rates of self harm and suicide, both inside prisons, and following release.
- Prisons do not meet the needs of survivors – Prisons do not meet the needs of victims or survivors of violence. Many people feel traumatised by interacting with the criminal justice system, and for those that don’t, the system still remains ineffective in that it doesn’t work or meet people’s real needs. Those most criminalised by the criminal justice system are least likely to want to interact with it.
- Prisons tear apart families and communities – Separating people from their home communities and isolating them in abusive and violent environments can make pre-existing problems worse. Many prisoners break up with their partners, loose custody of their children and loose contact with their families and support networks. They are also likely to loose their jobs, home and possessions.
6. We see that the prison system is one pioneering edge of the capitalist system. We reject the prison industrial complex.
What is the Prison Industrial Complex?
The Prison Industrial Complex (P.I.C) is a term used to describe the overlapping interests of government and industry that use surveillance, policing and imprisonment as solutions to economic, social and political problems.
- The Prison Industrial Complex is not just prisons themselves, it is mutually reinforcing web of relationships, between and not limited to, for example, prisons, the probation service, the police, the courts, all the companies that profit from transporting, feeding and exploiting prisoners, and so forth.
- The UK currently has the most privatised prison system in Europe. Its cultural embrace of surveillance, policing and repressive policies are making it open ground for companies seeking to exploit the custodial markets in the UK.
- Thousands are criminalised, imprisoned and controlled, individuals and families are harmed and traumatised and poverty is perpetuated to allow a small minority of people to profit.
Several of groups of people are over-represented in the British Prison system. In few words: we are locking up our most vulnerable individuals, from the most criminalised communities. The patterns of which are entrenched in racism, sexism and class inequalities.
To understand the P.I.C in pictures:
Some key facts about who is in prison in the UK:
- Almost 40% of prisoners under 21 were in care as children
- 72% of male and 70% of female sentenced prisoners suffer from two or more mental health diagnoses
- Over half of the women’s prison population has suffered domestic violence and 1/3 has experienced sexual abuse
- Over a quarter of the UK prison population is also from a minority ethnic group
- The Prison: A capitalist industry like any other – Article in RTF Bulletin 10: http://reclaimthefields.noflag.org.uk/?p=664
- The Supermax in Wrexham – Article about the prison – http://theoccupiedtimes.org/?p=13929
- Resisting Prison Expansion Article – http://theoccupiedtimes.org/?p=13773
- Prison Abolition — article introducing ideas around prison abolition – http://theoccupiedtimes.org/?p=13767
- Article about the Prison Industrial Complex in the UK – http://theoccupiedtimes.org/?p=13778
For further resources & reading about the prison industrial complex visit: http://www.prisonabolition.org/why-abolition/resources/