Common myth spread by politicians – “Prisons and their construction create jobs and boost the local economy.”
Here are 6 reasons why this idea is false and you should reject it and stop prisons from being built in areas near you (and anywhere else!).
- Prisons are built and ran by big national and multinational companies and these companies employ people from far and wide. The profits these companies make pass way beyond the economies of areas local to a prison and benefit a small number of high up employees.
- New mega-prisons are built with giant factories designed for prison labour where incarcerated people make approximately £1 PER DAY. The introduction of prison labour drives down wages in the local communities and actually takes away jobs from local people. For example, at HMP Berwyn a contract was made between the prison and the local council to make bins and recycling boxes for the area, jobs that could have been given to people in the area. http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/wrexham-jail-binmates-working-council-13238996
- When local people do work in prisons it is usually as guards. These jobs are proven to be extremely stressful with risks of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and physical injury. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/20/corrections-officers-ptsd-american-prisons
- Support staff such as admin workers are notoriously low paid with short-term contracts.
- Prisons put a strain on local resources such as the NHS. Because of the new mega-prison in Wrexham, waiting times for mental health services have rocketed. There are hundreds of extra people needing both physical and mental healthcare but predictably no increase in NHS funding to help.
- Prisons cost millions of pounds to build and run, and that money could easily be put into projects that created jobs and also benefited society.