The Ministry of Justice opened a consultation to build a Mega-Prison in Chorley on 14th June. The proposed site is less than 10 miles from Wigan, where plans to build a mega-prison were defeated by a coalition of local groups in July 2017. Check out this article by corporate watch about the proposed site and the horrifically violent history of the prisons built there.
Let’s defeat this prison before the architects get a chance to design it!
1) Object! Fill out the Consultation! The consultation will run until the 19th July. You do not need to live in Chorley to complete it, nor do you need to give your name or personal details. There is no limit to the the number of times you can enter objections too! You can also object by PSDenquiries@justice.gov.uk
2) Join our online protest during the government webinars on the 1st and 2nd July sign up here for 1st July and here for 2nd July In the session, you could: change your zoom name to NO MEGA PRISON, Unmute yourself and talk about why prisons are bad and should not be built!make a sign and hold it in front of your face. See you there!
3) Spread the word: ask your friends and everyone else you are connected to to join in & object!
Ideas for objections:
There are so many reasons why people may not want a new prison in their local area. For people that do not live locally, they may feel concerned about the harm the prison system causes and not want any more to be built anywhere.Click here to read about the ethical arguments against building a new prison.
Traffic & Environmental Objections
Currently, no planning application has been submitted for this new mega-prison, making a lot of the information about the impact on traffic and the environment not yet clear. However, we do know that the prison will increase local traffic and have a negative environmental impact, despite self-proclaiming to be a “green prison”.
In terms of a negative environmental impact, although the MOJ brags about trying to keep carbon emissions near zero, the truth is that mega-building construction pollutes. This project will destroy any natural habitats in the way of construction and its heavy machinery and industry will have negative environmental impacts. As the world approaches dangerous levels of 2 degrees of warming, any level of carbon emissions is dangerous.
Impact on Local Services
New prisons cost hundreds of millions of pounds to build. HMP Five Wells has cost £253 million pounds. Estimated costs for this project will be very close to the same astronomical cost of constructing HMP Five Wells – a prison to incarcerate 1680 people is very similar to a prison to incarcerate 1440 people. Instead of prison construction, these hundreds of millions of pounds would be much better spent on local services. The socio-economic impact assessment of the plan is completely inadequate. It does not assess or analyse the impact of the prison on local services including on mental health services, the NHS, local housing, social care and other welfare services.
Economic Impact In its original planning process for HMP Five Wells in Wellingborough, the Ministry of Justice declared that constructing the mega-prison would create 3000 jobs. Construction is now well underway at the site, and so far only 144 jobs have been created. Pro-prison MPs and other stakeholders exaggerate the economic benefits of mega-prison construction. For this proposed mega-prison, the MOJ believes that at the new prison will create between 600 and 700 jobs. Looking at the job promise to job creation of HMP Five Wells, it is fair to assume that a small fraction of the mere one hundred jobs promised will actually be created. When they have promised 3000 jobs, they have actually delivered 144. When they only commit to 100 jobs being created, they will deliver far less than that.
The economic benefits of mega-prisons is always exaggerated by those with a stake in profiting from more prison construction.There is also a huge emphasis on creating jobs for the local community. Of the mere 144 jobs created so far with HMP Five Wells construction, only 22% of those workers are actually from the local community – only 32 jobs have been created so far for the local community. Again looking at HMP Five Wells construction, only 25% on-site spend went to companies in the Wellingborough area. Construction for a new prison in Chorely will follow a similar pattern – the majority of economic benefits and job creation are not for the local community. It is the CEOs of these construction companies who are reaping all the profit, not the people who work under them, not those living locally, nor those living in other areas of the country.