The Empty Cages Collective is a small group of people who have been imprisoned or engaged in prison-related struggle and prisoner support over a number of years. As individuals our lives have been dominated and harmed by the prison system for the last decade. We have diverse political opinions however we all identify as anarchists, sharing a desire to eradicate all forms of domination.

The Necessity & Urgency of this Work

The UK has the most privatised prison system in Western Europe, and without resistance will only continue in this direction. Plans for the first super-prison in Wrexham have been announced. Figures released in October 13 show we now have the highest prison population in Europe. Therefore the UK should be at the forefront of prison abolition organising, however the prison system goes unchallenged by all except a handful of anarchist prisoner support groups or reformist organisations.

When the prison system does come under scrutiny the very legitimacy of the prison industrial complex rarely gets called into question, instead the focus is shifted onto rehabilitating individuals instead of address the underlying causes of inequality in our society. Reformist organisations therefore legitimise and perpetuate state and corporate violence of the prison industrial complex. Read more about ‘Why Abolition?’ here.

Our Aims

As a collective our aims are:

  • To share information, ideas and build literacy around the prison industrial complex and prison abolition in the UK;
  • To inspire, skill share and support people to organise for prison abolition;
  • To listen & work with directly affected communities & individuals harmed by the prison industrial complex in the UK.

You can read what we learnt and did in 2014 here, as part of our first year of events & action to build momentum to create a movement dedicated to dismantling the prison industrial complex in the UK. See our plans for 2015 here. 

We know that the struggle for prison abolition is really the struggle to create a free, healthy and ecological society, where healing and self & community determination heal the wounds left by the prison industrial complex.