INFORMATION: COVID-19 IN PRISONS

HM Prison and Probation Service has announced that social visits will gradually be re-introduced in England and Wales from 29 March. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis for each prison, following agreement between HMPPS and public health professionals, and will be reviewed weekly.

Read the full government guidance—including which prisons have resumed visits—and for information on how you can keep in touch with loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic by clicking here.

Find out what we're doing to help ensure that the lives of prisoners, staff and our community are protected during the pandemic by clicking here.

We have established an urgent new project—CAPPTIVE (The Covid Action Prison Project: Tracking Innovation, Valuing Experience). We want to hear from people in prison, and the people who care about them, about their own experience of the pandemic so far. Click here to find out how you can get involved. 

If you know of someone in prison in need of advice and information then click here for details on how they can get in contact with us.

The Ministry of Justice has also posted a Q&A for friends and family of people in prison which you can read by clicking here.

If you are concerned about a person in prison and would like support yourself, click here for details on how to contact the Prisoners' Families Helpline.

The prison service has published guidance about prison releases in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which you can read by clicking here. We have produced a summary of some of the key points, which you can read by clicking here.

The Independent Advisory Panel on Deaths in Custody (IAP) has created a Coronavirus Information Hub. This brings together the latest information and responses from the IAP and other national and international sources, on protecting the lives of people in state custody during this unprecedented pandemic.



NEWS

Commenting on the announcement today (21 September) that the House of Commons Justice Committee has launched an inquiry into the IPP sentence, Mark Day, Head of Policy and Communications at the Prison Reform Trust said:

“Despite its abolition nearly a decade ago, the IPP sentence continues to cast a long and doleful shadow over our justice system. Without urgent action, we soon face the prospect of a growing IPP prisoner population, as the numbers being recalled to custody outstrips those being released. We welcome this inquiry by the respected cross-party justice committee, and hope it will be the catalyst needed for the government to finally confront and deal with the toxic legacy of this unjust sentence.”

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Women in prison have revealed the devastating impact of Covid-19 restrictions on their mental health and wellbeing, in a briefing launched today by the Prison Reform Trust.

Based on evidence from women in prison from May 2020 to May 2021, as well as supporting evidence from HM Inspectorate of Prisons and other sources, the briefing looks at women’s experiences of prison during the first and second waves of the pandemic.

Click 'read more' for the full story

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PRT comment: HMP Wormwood Scrubs

09/09/2021 00:01:00

Commenting on the findings of today’s (9 September) report on conditions at HMP Wormwood Scrubs by HM Inspectorate of Prisons, Peter Dawson, director of the Prison Reform Trust said: 

"Any signs of sustained improvement in a prison with as troubled a history as Wormwood Scrubs are welcome. But this report shows that while lockdown may have ended in the community, for many prisoners it continues in the most extreme form. This is about the fundamental problems that existed before the pandemic—overcrowding and inadequate resources—and the government doesn't have a plan to solve either."

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The Prison Reform Trust has published a briefing on the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill for the House of Lords second reading debate on the Bill which is taking place on Tuesday 14 September.

The briefing highlights particular concerns relating to the provisions of Part 7 of the Bill on sentencing and release. It also focusses on a key omission the Bill – the opportunity presented by the legislation to reform the indeterminate sentence of Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP). 

Click here to download a copy of the briefing.

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