Thursday, 19 March 2009

Brook House Opens As Tinsley House Goes On Hunger Strike

Yesterday Jacqui Smith ceremonially opened Brook House, the latest privately run (G4S in this case) Immigration Prison to be built in the UK. The 426 bed Category B style building brings the UK detention estate up to 3,038 places, with a further 1300 in the pipeline.

Yet all is not going smoothly in G4S's latest venture. All the inmates at Tinsley House, 750m up the South Perimeter Road at Gatwick Airport, have been on hunger strike for 2 days due to changes in the meal system introduced since Brook House became operational. Their meals are now cooked in the kitchens of Brook House to save G4S a few quid and help maximise their profits.

This has resulted in the Tinsley inmates having to order their meals 48 hours in advance and the food is cold and they receive much smaller portions than they had previously (more cost cutting?). Still, atleast Jacqui Smith can sleep happier in her nice comfortable bed (see BBC news clip for a look inside a Brook House cell - sorry 'room' as the UKBA newspeak labels them) knowing that all those 'foreign criminals' will be getting reduced portions of their just desserts.

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