Closure of HMP Holloway

WIP’s response to today’s (25th November 2015) announcement in Chancellor George Osborne’s Spending Review regarding the closure of HMP Holloway:

“Women in Prison cautiously welcomes the news of the closure of HMP Holloway, providing that the now very real opportunity is seized upon for a bold new approach for women affected by the criminal justice system.

“The closure of Holloway must mark the start of a significant reduction in the number of women in prison alongside the establishment of effective - and cheaper - community alternatives to custody.

“The majority of women in prison are on short sentences for non-violent offences and are the most excluded women in our society. Most women in prison have experienced domestic and sexual violence, face mental health and substance misuse issues. Even just a few weeks inside can cause significant harm as a woman loses her children, her home, and her job and become trapped in an endless cycle within the criminal justice system. This costly system cannot go on and this announcement must be the start of real change.

“The welfare of women currently in HMP Holloway is a priority and we urge the Chancellor to set out a clear timeline for when the prison will close; if resources from the sale of the prison will be used for community provision and when alternatives to custody will be provided. This information is vital for women who fear that the gap between closure and the provision of new community facilities will mean they are instead placed in prisons many miles away from their families.”

Media coverage and comment pieces regarding closure:

“Give our women prisoners the break they’re long overdue”
Yvonne Roberts, Chair of Trustees at Women in Prison, The Guardian

“A woman’s place? Why the closure of Holloway could bring a prison revolution closer”
Emine Saner, The Guardian

“It’s right to close Holloway Prison. Women’s prisons do more harm than good”
Juliet Lyon, Director of the Prison Reform Trust, The Telegraph

“Closing Holloway Prison to make room for luxury flats isn’t a triumph, George Osborne - it’s just cruelly ironic”
Sara Hyde, Independent

“Holloway: The Beginning of a Revolution?”
Rebecca Roberts (Centre for Crime and Justice) and Claire Cain (Women in Prison)