Covid-19

Like all organisations and individuals the Prison Reform Trust has been closely monitoring the developments and government advice following the Covid-19 outbreak. The safety of those who live and work in our prisons and that of PRT staff is our priority. In light of the latest government advice we are taking the following measures to uphold our collective safety, whilst continuing to deliver vital services to those in prison.

  • All planned visits to prisons by PRT staff have been cancelled.

  • Until further notice PRT staff will where possible work from home.

However, it is important that as an organisation we continue to be an impartial and authoritative source of advice and information for people in prison at this understandably confusing and challenging time.

Whilst the focus for government and our prisons will rightly be on how best to respond to Covid-19, the Prison Reform Trust continues to have an important role to monitor as best we can how people in prison and their families are being looked after, and to be as constructive and imaginative as possible in suggesting ideas for mitigating their suffering.

You can keep up to date on some of the urgent work we are doing in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic by clicking here.

 

Our advice and information service

Because of the ongoing disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic our Advice and Information team has had to adapt its usual service for people in prison.

However, if you know of someone in prison in need of advice and information they can contact our service in the following ways:

 
  
Call our freephone number—0808 802 0060
  Open on Monday 3pm–5pm and Thursday 10:30am–12:30pm
Please be aware that this could be subject to change depending on staffing levels and both national and local restrictions.
   
  Leave a short message outside of these times giving your name, prison number, the prison you are in and what information you are looking for. 
  Voicemails will be checked during working hours Monday to Friday.
   
 Write to us at Prison Reform Trust, FREEPOST ND 6125, London EC1B 1PN

 Email us at advice@prisonreformtrust.org.uk

We will do our best to respond to all prisoner-related enquiries as quickly as possible.

If you are concerned about a person in prison and would like support yourself, you may wish to contact the Prisoners' Families Helpline on 0808 808 2003 between 9am and 8pm. You can also email our advice team at advice@prisonreformtrust.org.uk.

 

Information about prison service response to Covid-19

This is understandably a worrying time for anyone with a loved one in prison. You can read the latest government guidance and how you can keep in touch with loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic by clicking here.

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

HM Prison Service has announced that prisons in England and Wales are beginning the process of opening for visitors. However, some prisons will be able to resume visits more quickly than others, and the government has cautioned that individual prisons will suspend visits if it is unsafe or if they are located in an area with enhanced community restrictions. If you are planning to visit someone in prison, do ensure that you keep up to date with the latest guidance as the situation in individual prisons may change.