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G4S: Securing whose world?

In a privatised children's prison, a care worker restrained a boy who died; G4S promoted him. After guards killed an asylum-seeker on a plane, G4S was handed a public contract to provide housing for asylum-seekers — they've made a mess of that. In a prison van in Australia they baked a man to death.

Welcome to OurKingdom's investigation into G4S, the security and surveillance people who see democratic uprisings as a business opportunity. They're running privatised public services worldwide.

This work, led by award-winning reporter Clare Sambrook, followed by the BBC, The Times, The Guardian and the New York Times, is part of the Shine A Light project.


G4S promises (again) to repaint asylum seeker red doors and relocate families at risk

Four months after 'red doors' scandal broke, security company says it really will stop making asylum seekers’ homes so easy to locate and attack.

Doubts over cause of death of man, 25, at remote UK immigration lockup

Day Two of the inquest into the death of Bruno Dos Santos.

G4S suspends 5 staff over alleged attempts to massage 999 response figures

Commercial partners G4S and Lincolnshire Police are jointly investigating fake emergency calls that made outsourcing look good.

Asylum seekers with red doors are still being targeted by racists

Regardless of government orders and promises to Parliament, UK property company Jomast carries on putting asylum tenants at risk.

Children in trouble: punishment or welfare?

BBC Panorama exposed abuse at Medway Secure Training Centre — and a government policy that has gone off the rails.

Red doors for asylum seekers: MPs grill one of Britain’s richest landlords

“An unseemly and unsavoury” business? Stuart Monk of Jomast fails to impress.

Marked out for attack: living in the UK 'asylum market'

Private companies took public money to house asylum seekers behind distinctive red doors and make them wear bright shiny wristbands.

Red doors made asylum seekers targets for abuse. Deliberate?

Why did UK commercial contractors G4S and Jomast paint asylum seekers’ doors red? Why did they ignore complaints for years?

Black deaths: still fighting for justice in the UK

Ken Fero's award-winning films about black deaths at the hands of the police in Britain record the continuing struggle to get justice. They have never been broadcast in the UK. Part of our partnership with the Unorthodocs programme of screenings and events.

The report which could destroy Britain’s immigration prisons

The former prisons Ombudsman Stephen Shaw has urged ministers to reduce immigration detention “boldly and without delay”.

Bullying kids: G4S abuse of child prisoners exposed

For years the Howard League and others have warned of abuse of child inmates in secure training centres. Now the BBC’s Panorama programme has caught it on camera.

Disaster capitalism, and the outsourcing of violence in the UK

Corporations bleed what profits they can from disaster. Democracy is replaced by a business plan. An excerpt from Antony Loewenstein’s Disaster Capitalism: Making A Killing Out Of Catastrophe.

A safe place for children? G4S pays for “independent” report on Rainsbrook prison

  • The world's largest security company shows how to undermine a rigorous and shocking account of racism and degrading treatment at a child prison. 

Barbara, tagged and monitored like a criminal

Barbara is an asylum seeker living in the UK. How the government’s immigration crackdown creates opportunities for humiliation and profit.

The sex abusers guarding Britain’s most vulnerable children

“They look at you like you’re a dog, making you strip is bang out of order.” The final shocking extract from Children Behind Bars.

Mothers and sons. On children who have died in UK prisons

Joseph Scholes and Adam Rickwood died within weeks of being placed in penal institutions. Carolyne Willow met the boys’ mothers, and tells their stories in her shocking book, Children Behind Bars.

Prison, a treacherous place for a child

Thirty-three children have died in English child prisons since 1990. A powerful new book exposes how Britain’s most vulnerable children are routinely damaged by the state. 

Exploding the myth of ‘payment by results’

National Audit Office issues damning report on outsourcing model that claims to guarantee value for money.

Toddlers, rats, asbestos. G4S, asylum seekers’ landlord

Why would the UK government let its commercial contractor get away with housing vulnerable asylum seekers in dangerous slums?

Children suffer racist abuse and ‘degrading treatment’ by guards high on drugs at G4S Rainsbrook prison

G4S appoints “new leadership” at Rainsbrook: the man in charge when Gareth Myatt, 15, was restrained to death, the man who told an inquest he hadn’t read the restraint manual.

G4S abuses in South African prison still ignored

Investigations and reports into allegations of widespread human-rights violations at G4S-run Mangaung prison have stalled. Can anyone wrangle the private security behemoth? 

UK Election: Crime & Justice, what do the parties offer?

A leading advocate for penal reform assesses the parties’ manifestos.

How to survive in prison

Amid a crisis of suicides and assaults across prisons in England and Wales, one former inmate offers advice on staying safe. (See also: Danger, overcrowding, no time to talk: a UK prison officer speaks out).

Dying for Justice: black and minority ethnic deaths in custody

509 suspicious deaths of people from BME, migrant and asylum seeker communities in state custody over 23 years. Five prosecutions. Not one single conviction. A chilling report from the Institute of Race Relations.

openDemocracy writers longlisted for Orwell Prize

Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi and Clare Sambrook are among 15 writers in contention for one of journalism’s highest honours.

UK activists prevent deportation of Afghan migrants

Activists "put their bodies on the line" to delay a deportation flight to 'unsafe' Afghanistan.

One bath for 12 women and 11 babies: UK asylum housing by G4S

On a suburban street in Leeds, security company G4S packs 23 women and children into one house with a single bathroom.

UK immigration detention: the truth is out

Successive governments have ignored and dismissed complaints of suffering in UK immigration lock-ups. This week, in Parliament and on national television, fresh evidence has been heard.

'Headbutt the bitch' Serco guard, Yarl’s Wood, a UK immigration detention centre

For years women locked up inside Yarl’s Wood, a UK government lock-up in Bedfordshire, have complained of racist abuse, sexual abuse and shoddy medical treatment. Now there is video evidence. WATCH ‘INSIDE YARL’S WOOD’ CHANNEL 4 NEWS

Justice blindfolded? The case of Jimmy Mubenga

Following the acquittal on 16 December of the G4S guards charged with the manslaughter of Jimmy Mubenga, barrister Frances Webber, chair of the Institute of Race Relations, focuses on the judge’s decision to rule inadmissible evidence pointing to endemic racism within G4S.

The racist texts. What the Mubenga trial jury was not told

Jimmy Mubenga died under restraint by three G4S guards. Extreme racist texts found on two of the guards’ phones were withheld from the jury who yesterday cleared all three men of manslaughter. (Warning: this piece contains highly offensive language)

Parliamentary watchdog: too often private sector contractors' ethical standards found wanting

A culture of revenue and profit-driven performance incentives has too often been misaligned with the needs of the public who fund and depend on these services. Margaret Hodge MP writes on the Public Accounts Committee's new report on the contracting out of public services.

The hazards of going to war for profit

The privatisation of military force causes problems that can’t be addressed by regulation alone.

The national shame that is healthcare in UK immigration detention

Four years ago G4S was involved in the unlawful killing of an immigration detainee called Jimmy Mubenga. Now they're winning NHS contracts to care for detainees.

How children’s charity Barnardo’s locks up kids with Guantánamo contractor G4S

Britain’s leading children’s charity helps the world’s biggest security company lock up children who have committed no crime.

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