Lend Lease Salford Occupied by Prison Protesters
PRISON PROFITEERS NOT WELCOME STATE CAMPAIGN GROUPS
Yesterday, the Salford Quays HQ of construction company Lendlease was occupied by groups to highlight the company’s involvement in prison expansion, which includes a new £250million mega-prison in Wrexham and a potential new prison in Greater Manchester.
“We don’t want a new prison here in Greater Manchester or anywhere” said local resident Jess Bradley, who joined the protest “We desperately need to fund alternatives.”
Yesterday, the Salford Quays offices of Lendlease, which wins contracts to build new prisons, were occupied by residents of Salford and Manchester carrying a banner reading `Prison Profiteers’.
The group was highlighting Lendlease’s work on the £250million construction of a new 2,100-person `mega-prison’, HMP Berwyn, in Wrexham, and its potential work on a future mega-prison in Greater Manchester, currently being mooted by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).
The occupation came complete with a battery of statistics and figures showing how the prison system is failing…
* Almost half of adult prisoners are convicted again (46% in 2016) and two-thirds of juvenile prisoners (68% in 2016) are convicted again within a year of release…
* Almost three-quarters of prisoners (73% in 2014) have no job on release from prison, and less than a sixth of the rest (12% in 2015) subsequently find long-term employment.
* UK prisons see around 300 deaths (290 in the 12 months before March 2016), almost 3,000 recorded cases of serious assault (2,822 in 2015), 300 cases of sexual assault (2015) and over 32,000 instances of self-harm (32,313 in 2015) annually – all at or near their highest levels ever.
* Almost three-quarters of prisons were “judged as requiring improvement or inadequate for learning” by Ofsted inspectors, and a third fewer prisoners are studying for GCSE qualifications than in 2010.
“Over this winter the UK prison system has been rocked by riots and every three days a prisoner takes their own life” explained local resident Jess Bradle “It’s clear the prison system does not rehabilitate, but traumatises the people behind bars. We desperately need to fund alternatives to prison. We don’t want a new prison here in Greater Manchester or anywhere.”
The action was supported by No Prisons Manchester and Action for Trans Health, before the International Day of Solidarity with Transgender Prisoners this Sunday, 22nd January.