Across the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed unique challenges to prisons. In Iran and China, early release programmes were introduced to reduce overcrowding in prisons. In the UK, prisons went into lockdown with the rest of the country in March 2020, with inmates spending 23 hours a day in their cells with restricted access to showering and exercise, and restrictions on visits and educational opportunities.
The restrictions have resulted in a reduced focus on rehabilitation, taken a toll on prisoners’ mental health and led to an increase in staff assaults and prisoner violence. Prison staff have reported the inadequate provision of protective equipment and the emotional drain of having to witness the impact lockdown measures have had on the inmates under their care.
This webinar considers how the pandemic has played out in prisons.
How are prisons coping with the increased demand for access to healthcare?
What has the pandemic told us about the state’s and criminal justice system’s approach to prisoners’ welfare and rights?
And how can ambivalence towards prisoners’ rights be addressed to ensure adequate provisions and measures are put in place to protect them from the virus?
As with all member events, questions from the audience drive the conversation.