Chronology

1819 – Opens as the Surrey house of correction.

1821 – Cubitt’s treadmill introduced to Brixton – the first prison in the capital to have one.

1852 – Closes as the Surrey house of correction. The treadwheels are dismantled and the land and buildings sold at auction.

1853 – Transportation to Australia ends. The government makes a compulsory purchase of the Brixton site and reopens it as a prison for convict women.

1869 – Becomes a local prison for men.

1882 – Becomes a military prison.

1901 – Becomes the remand prison for London.

1920 – Terence MacSwiney dies in the prison on the 74th day of his hunger strike.

1967 – Mick Jagger spends a night in Brixton after being found guilty of drugs charges.

1972 – The prisoners’ rights organisation P.R.O.P. is formed.  Regular sit-down protests begin in Brixton.

1973 – The Price sisters begin a hunger-strike which lasts over 200 days.  17 people escape en masse from A wing.

1991 – Pearse McAuley and Nessan Quinlivan escape.

1999 – Prisons minister Paul Boateng makes an emergency visit after a spate of suicide attempts by inmates.

2000 – A surprise inspection by HM Inspectorate of Prisons results in the director of the prison service being summoned to see the conditions in which prisoners with mental health issues are kept. Prison officers from all over the UK stage an illegal strike after the government releases proposals confirming intentions to privatise Brixton.

2001 – An inspectorate report severely criticises conditions at Brixton Prison describing it as one of the three worst prisons in the country.

2004 – Inspectorate report praises Brixton for improving standards.

2009 – National Prison Radio – the world’s first and only national radio station for prisoners – begins broadcasting from Brixton.

2012 – Gordon Ramsey sets up the Bad Boys’ Bakery.

2013 – Brixton becomes London’s first ‘resettlement’ prison.

2014 – The Clink restaurant opens in the old governor’s house.

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