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15 January 2021

Preventing the unlawful use of PAVA spray in prisons

The Prison Reform Trust provided expert evidence to an Equality and Human Rights Commission funded case, challenging the Secretary of State for Justice’s decision to make PAVA spray available in prisons during the coronavirus pandemic, before agreed safeguards were in place.

The EHRC has now published a summary of the case, and as it points out, there are some important outcomes from it. The fact that the commitments the prison service have made are public and will produce more information that we and others can scrutinise are both important, as is the EHRC’s continuing interest in making sure the commitments are met.

We will publish a more detailed piece in the new year about the litigation, the questions that remain and the way we intend to maintain a close scrutiny of PAVA and its impact in future.