Pamela Stewart had been working as a psychotherapist at H.M.P. Holloway, a prison in London, for twenty years, in the fall of 2015, when she was suddenly called to the chapel for a mass announcement. As the officers and staff members filed into the large concrete space, she wondered if there had been a bombing, or if the Queen had died. Instead, she and her colleagues learned that Holloway, the largest women's prison in Western Europe, was shutting down. The institution would close, the land would be put up for sale, and the more than five hundred inmates would be moved to other prisons, outside of London. Immediately, the officers around Stewart began to cry. "A massive personal, social, historical moment had come," Stewart told me. "Everything that we'd learned, and built up, and were working toward, was about to be bulldozed." Soon afterward, George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time, announced the closure in Parliament. "Old Victorian prisons in our cities that are not suitable for rehabilitating prisoners will be sold," he said. The proceeds would go toward building nine modern prisons. The announcement launched a flurry of articles in the British press. The BBC reported… Read full this story
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