Sisters Uncut

Taking direct action for domestic violence services.


Friday, June 9, 2023

The Women’s Building* that Peabody has promised to build on the site of Holloway Prison is at risk of housing probationary services. 

Formerly the largest women’s prison in Europe, Holloway prison was a site of intense violence and harm. The Women’s Building was demanded by the community, to be a space for healing and support for people who have experienced violence at the hand of the state. 

Embedding probationary services into the Women’s Building would be the complete opposite of what the community demanded. We do not want more policing of our communities. We do not want a prison under another name. We want a Women’s Building that works in the interests of us all.

We are asking people to fill out this survey from Peabody to make it clear that we want no probationary services in the Women’s building, that the building should provide specialised services for all survivors and that the building should be for women, non-binary and intersex people, and their children.

Please use our answers below as a guide, but use your own words.



Choose ‘not important’ to the suggestion of ‘Probation referrals’.

Choose ‘other’ and in the text box specify that:

  • We need specialist services for Black survivors and survivors of colour, LGBT* survivors (emphasise the need for all services to be fully trans-inclusive), D/disabled survivors, and women, intersex and non-binary people who were formerly incarcerated. 
  • There should also be a safe injection site/needle exchange.
  • No services in the building should be linked to the Criminal Justice System.
  • All services should be run by organisations that recognise the harms perpetuated by the Criminal Justice System. 
  • All services should be free at the point of use.


Choose ‘not important’ for ‘commercial space’. 

Choose ‘other’ and note that the space should also: 

  • Include a kitchen
  • Be fully accessible
  • Be free at the point of use

Note that there should be no commercial space in the building.


Choose ‘not relevant’ for ‘exclusive use for women only’ and then clarify in the text box below that it is important that the space is for women (trans and cis), non-binary and intersex people and their children. 

Choose ‘other’ and note in the text box that:

  • There must be no connection to the Criminal Justice System (including immigration enforcement).
  • All services, including childcare, must be offered free at the point of use.


Strongly state that there must be no probation services in the building. Probation services are an arm of the Criminal Justice System that entrench state surveillance in the lives of formerly incarcerated people and set near impossible standards and codes of behaviour that they must adhere to. Probation services are another way that the Criminal Justice System cements itself in the lives of those currently and formerly imprisoned.

Probation services are not spaces for healing or support. 

When the Community came together to demand a Women’s Building, the vision was that it would be a place of healing for those who have experienced violence at the hands of the state. It should work to rectify the pain and trauma inflicted by prisons and the Criminal Justice System. This can only happen if it is completely independent of these systems. No services that are linked to or co-operate with the Criminal Justice System should be housed in the building.

Services provided must not cooperate with the Home Office or Ministry of Justice in any capacity or deny access to individuals on the basis of immigration status. 

*’Women’s Building’ is the term used by the Council, Peabody and some community groups. We insist that the building must be inclusive of all women (trans and cis), non-binary and intersex people.

Sisters Uncut statement on the sale of Holloway Prison

Friday, March 8, 2019

After reclaiming Holloway Prison’s Visitor Centre and working with community groups on a new vision for Holloway, we at Sisters Uncut hope that the new owners, Peabody, will listen to our demands and stick to their promises.

In May 2017 we reclaimed Holloway Prison’s Visitor Centre. We transformed a space of state violence, holding a week-long community festival with activities and workshops and demanded that the land continued to be used for public good.

We demanded that the land be used to provide genuinely affordable housing, and host a women’s* building. This building could provide services to all women and non-binary people affected by state violence, especially supporting survivors of colour, LGBTQ and disabled survivors.

New owners, Peabody, reached out to us today. They have promised a minimum 60% affordable housing provision and a Women’s Centre on the old prison site. We are glad to see our demands reflected in Peabody’s statement, and we are keen to enter discussions with them to create a new vision for Holloway which works for the community. We remain sceptical until we see our demands met in practice.

Community demands are all too often forgotten about or diluted beyond recognition in the implementation phase. We will keep on fighting ensure this land is actually used for public good, and not just as good PR for Peabody. One aspect that already gives us concern, is the changing of ‘women’s building’ in our initial demands to ‘women’s centre’ in Peabody’s documents. We will hold Islington Council and Peabody to account over our demands to ensure they are not watered down.

We regret that the sale of this land has helped generate income for the Tories’ plan to build new mega-prisons’, which slash prison budgets while doing nothing to reduce prisoner numbers. Prison and detention are dehumanising, racist, classist, sexist and transphobic. We do not believe that prisons offer a solution to crime. We at Sisters Uncut continue to fight state violence and injustice.

“Abolitionist feminism is a response to the carceral feminism of the past. This project will help to create greater insight, and hopefully more action against the prison industrial complex.”

Angela Davis speaking about the reclamation of Holloway Women’s Prison, 2017

Our demand is that the money made from the sale of the prison be used to fund services in the planned women’s* building. Using money from the sale of the site would be a symbol of recognition and reparation for local survivors of domestic and sexual violence and the women of Holloway Prison.

We hope the new site can act as a remedy for the pain so many women suffered at the hands of state violence.

* ‘Women’s Building’ is the language used by Islington Council. We will fight for a building and services that are available to all non-binary, gender non-conforming people and women and that the name is changed to reflect that.


Images from the week-long community festival we held in the reclaimed visitor’s centre of Holloway Prison.