Thousands of people have now shown their support for a petition calling on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to purchase the former Holloway prison site and protect the land for council homes, community facilities and a women's building.
London Assembly Members from across the political spectrum have joined the call for the Mayor to step in. Conservative London Assembly member, Tony Devenish has joined the call for council homes;
ACTION @sadiqkhan you have £3.15B + of taxpayers money to build homes. Holloway prison would be a start.— Tony Devenish (@Tony_Devenish) November 1, 2017
Green party London Assembly member, Sian Berry is also pursuing the matter and has sought clarification from Mayor Khan on whether he has investigated buying the site, as well as asking the Assembly to look into issues relating to women and justice in London.
I asked the Assembly to look at women and justice in London and we started this week. Holloway prison a huge topic: https://t.co/aqawTLXgmb— Sian Berry (@sianberry) November 5, 2017
The Islington Gazette has described this as 'an important campaign';
An important campaign https://t.co/Dm0K5b3Nm2— Islington Gazette (@islingtongztte) November 4, 2017
Writing for The Huffington Post, Dr Kate Paradine of Women in Prison, describes the harms of imprisonment and the opportunity to build something positive on the Holloway prison site;
The closure of Holloway prison could yet become a catalyst for lasting change, if, in its place, we offered homes and constructive community support to address the core issues that repeatedly trigger offending. This would be a real legacy for social justice and could help substantially reduce the female prison population in the process.
As part of our Community Plan for Holloway project we have been working in partnership with local people and organisations in Islington to put forward a positive vision for the former prison site. The Ministry of Justice is planning to sell the land to make maximum profit and there is concern that the needs and views of the local community and women in prison will be sidelined in this process.