What the BBC conceals on private prisons research

Mel Kelly, Feb 21 2013

The national broadcaster fails to inform the public that ‘independent’ research urging more prison privatisation was funded by private prisons contractors.

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The BBC’s flagship Radio 4 Today Programme, featured research by an organisation called “Reform”, purporting to show that private companies are better than the public sector at running prisons and should be allowed to run more of them. The story is running now on BBC News 24 under the headline: “Private firms better at running prisons – think tank.”

Read the full article

Who’s G4S?

Source: OurKingdom

You are not imagining it. The G4S logo really is popping up all over the place — in your local supermarket, on your local street, on police uniforms if you happen live in the English county of Lincolnshire.

And it’s all over the London Olympics, where 25,000 security people will be working under G4S control. The company’s bill, £300 million. (That’s right: £300 million).

The world’s biggest security company, G4S operates in 125 countries. Slogan: Securing Your World.

It’s based in Britain, where it is fast taking over vital public services. . . in policing, running prisons and children’s homes, dominating “asylum markets”, training magistrates, assessing welfare claimants, building and running hospitals and schools. It’s a very big player in the Private Finance Initiative.

G4S is installing smart meters in our homes, guarding our supermarkets, supplying number-plate recognition technology to retailers, the police and the military, performing covert surveillance for insurance companies.

In so many ways G4S is watching us.

Since early 2010 OurKingdom has been watching G4S, shining a light on this company’s extraordinary progress and its cosy relations with government.

Growing from our reporting on the scandal of child immigration detention here in the UK, OurKingdom’s award-winning reporting and analysis has been followed by, among others, the BBC, The Times, The Guardian and the New York Times.

We have explored human rights abuses and child protection failings. And revisited the horrible death of Mr Ward, the Aboriginal Elder cooked to death in G4S’s care, whose case casts doubt upon often-unchallenged assumptions about the virtues of privatisation.

We welcome fresh submissions, intelligence from within G4S, and reports, like this one, on G4S around the world. Please, let us know how G4S is securing your world.


G4S human rights record under tough Scandinavian scrutiny

Adri Nieuwhof 28 January 2013

Putting reputational capital at risk: when a security company’s human rights record counts in the contest for public contracts.

Security giant G4S rejects ‘World’s Worst Company’ nomination

The world’s leading security company, G4S, says it doesn’t deserve to be nominated for Public Eye’s World’s Worst Company Award. Two activists examine G4S’s defence.

The trials of Roseline Akhalu

Alan White 16 January 2013

Why is the Home Office continuing a cruel and ludicrous campaign against a woman who they have accepted will definitely die if returned to Nigeria?

Kidney transplant case signals deep flaws in UK immigration policy and practice

Esme Madill 16 January 2013

Home Secretary Theresa May’s relentless pursuit of kidney transplant patient Roseline Akhalu is one more sign of crisis within the Home Office and its UK Border Agency. A supporter of Akhalu writes.

When business and the state co-opt ‘independent’ civil society

Adam Elliott-Cooper 14 January 2013

How can charities and community organisations provide effective advocacy when they are agents of the state or partners in business?

Ten reasons to vote for G4S as the World’s Worst Company

The infamous Public Eye award wants your vote on the company that most deserves naming and shaming. Activists from South Yorkshire to the Canton of Vaud are backing security company G4S to win. Here’s why.

Privatising probation: ‘less crime, fewer victims, safer communities.’ Oh, really?

Frances Crook 9 January 2013

The UK government packaged its privatisation of probation services in England and Wales today as ‘the most significant reforms to tackling re-offending and managing offenders in the community for a generation’. A leading campaigner for prison reform peers beneath the packaging.

A cockroach in the baby’s bottle: asylum-seeker housing by security giant G4S

John Grayson 17 December 2012

Angela and her baby are among thousands of vulnerable people being forcibly re-housed as the UK government converts asylum-seeker housing into a profitable business.

G4S equips the apartheid wall, Israel confirms

Adri Nieuwhof 7 December 2012

The company whose logo appears on police staff uniforms in the UK and dropped the Olympics contract has far reaching impact on multiple security settings.

Corrupt and ‘reckless’ Kellogg Brown & Root still in the running for UK police contracts

Clare Sambrook 13 November 2012

Ahead of Police & Crime Commissioner elections in the UK, a negligence verdict in Oregon intensifies pressure to keep tainted contractor KBR out of UK policing.

G4S loses contract. Handing prisons to any commercial contractor is a grave mistake

Andrew Neilson 8 November 2012

The big news story is that G4S, the shambolic security company that botched the London Olympics, has today lost a major prison contract (HMP Wolds, in Lincolnshire), and failed to win any new ones. A hard blow for G4S and its shareholders. The bigger issue is that the UK government continues to privatise prisons, and commercial confidentiality shields the process from public view and democratic accountability.

Forced evictions, racist attacks. Meet the new landlord, security company G4S

John Grayson 8 November 2012

The UK government has created a new profit source for security giant G4S and its partners: managing housing for asylum seekers. John Grayson reports on a reckless experiment whose result is human misery.

G4S and friends exploit the mother and baby market

John Grayson 24 October 2012

The latest G4S twist on asylum housing markets – a hostel for asylum seeker mothers and babies in the North East of England.

G4S uses ‘unacceptable’ force on pregnant detainee at UK family detention centre

Tom Sanderson 24 October 2012

HM Inspectorate of Prisons report finds that G4S security staff at a UK Border Agency detention facility “deserve great credit”, despite unacceptable use of force on pregnant detainee.

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