Saturday 4 December 2021

Strange New Prisons

All human societies with a dense population have prisons. Prisons serve two purposes; firstly to act as punishment for wrongdoings. They provide the basics necessities of life, but no more, and the inmate can never leave until their sentence is complete; or their death, whichever comes first. A prison's second function is isolation, to keep the inmates separated from the rest of the population so that they can do no harm to others. This is especially important for violent crimes. For this reason I was surprised and worried to learn that the UK government is currently on a massive building spree of new prisons that appear to serve only one of those purposes. Four new multi-million pound gaols are currently under construction and are due to open between 2022 and 2026; HMP Five Wells in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, HMP Full Sutton in the East Riding of Yorkshire, HMP Glen Parva in Leicestershire and a fourth one in Chorley as yet unnamed. These so-called "mega-prisons" are very different to what you probably would expect a prison to be. There are no bars on the windows and the locations are selected to provide a nice view. The cell blocks have a cross-shaped plan instead of the traditional Victorian K-block. When complete, Five Wells will be able to house up to 1,650 inmates, making it the biggest gaol in Britain. Its cells have been described as "light and airy double rooms and single rooms, with brightly coloured walls and unobstructed views over the beautiful River Nene and fishing lake." There will also be a "central hub" area for "education, vocational training and social facilities". The yards will be landscaped and have lots of green spaces. Since when did a description of a clink sound like an entry on Trip Adviser? The prisons are being built under a public-private partnership by the Keir group and will be owned and run by G4S; yes, the same security contractor that messed up the 2012 Olympics and led to the total military lockdown of the whole of London, see: Source: If a prison is designed to be as comfortable as possible then it is designed to fulfil only one of a prisons' two purposes, isolation; in other words, internment.
Internment is the incarceration of citizens or visitors by a government for reasons other than criminal. It was first practiced in the Second Boer War in 1899 and has since then been employed multiple times. During World War II, 120,000 Americans with Japanese roots were locked up in internment camps, mostly in California where Japanese-Americans tend to live. This was supposedly for their "own safety" because of public anger over the attack on Pearl Harbour. These camps were not prisons; hardly any of the detainees were under suspicion of espionage or guerrilla activities. As a result they were intended to be as pleasant a location to live in as possible. Inside there were parks and sports grounds, post offices and schools, hospitals and theatres. However, nobody inside it could leave. There was a barbed wire fence, guard dogs and armed warders patrolling the perimeter. Reading the descriptions of these detention centres reminds me very much of the new British mega-prisons. Could it be that these new prisons are for internment? Why not? Australia has already started putting away "unruly" people, mostly aborigines, who are suspected of being infected with Covid 19 and refuse testing or the vaccines, see: The Australian government calls these internment camps "quarantine facilities". Why would the UK government need such measures and who would be put in them. The answer is anybody who refuses to cooperate with the changes in our country currently underway. People who refuse to be vaccinated, refuse to carry an ID card, refuse to shop without cash, refuse to use politically correct language; refuse to comply with any of the myriad Orwellian reforms the state wants to introduce. It could be that I will end up in one of these places. I hope not, but it can't be ruled out.
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Laurence said...

Quite disturbing Ben. Here, they are upgrading old Victorian asylums in the countryside. Regardless, internment without trial is unlawful and a threat to life. As God is our witness, we would be morally obliged to defend our inalienable rights from those psychopaths who would deign to refute them.

Ben Emlyn-Jones said...

I'm with you all the way there, Laurence! Sadly the fundamentals of civil rights and medical law and being tossed out of the window like soap suds right now. I wouldn't put it past them for a second to lock up the likes of us.