Project type: Current projects
Prisoner Policy Network
TACKLING THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS IN PRISON
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.
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.
Everything good about government action in tackling this emergency has been characterised by being early and decisive. On prisons, by contrast, it is a story of too little, too late. The scientific and operational advice couldn’t be clearer – if ministers are serious about following it, they must go much further, and do it now.
In this section, you can find out how we are responding to the pandemic, and what we’re doing to help ensure that the lives of prisoners, staff and our community are protected during this period of unprecedented challenge.
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 Ministry of Justice provides updates on the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in prisons each week as well as producing a monthly summary. However, Public Health England has reported that access to testing for prisoners across the estate has been limited and variable. Therefore, the number of confirmed cases reported does not necessarily represent the true scale of infection within the prison system. As such, these numbers should be treated with caution.
Covid-19 prisons project—CAPPTIVE
The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically affected the lives of prisoners, their families and those that work in prison. Widescale lockdown with people held in cells for up to 23 and a half hours a day, as well as the suspension of family visits since March have placed an immense strain on prisoners and their loved ones during this unprecedented time.
In response, we have established an urgent new project—CAPPTIVE (The Covid Action Prison Project: Tracking Innovation, Valuing Experience) to hear from people in prison, and the people who care about them, about their own experience of the pandemic, and to ensure that prisoners’ voices are heard in the discussions amongst wider society about what our lives will look like after the pandemic.
Contributions to the project from prisoners, family members and the organisations that support them are informing a series of rapid review reports that will be vital in ensuring we have the evidence to continue our work effectively both now and in the future.
These reports will bring the direct experiences, insights and ideas for change to the attention of those who most need to hear them, in Parliament, in the Ministry of Justice and the prison service.
We’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the CAPPTIVE project so far. As part of our continuing work on the CAPPTIVE project, we would like to invite people with lived experience of imprisonment to continue submitting their responses on the following topics:
- Black, Minority Ethnic and Muslim experience of prison during the Covid ‘double lockdown’;
- Women in prison; and
- Innovative practices witnessed in the prison estate.
Prisoners, family members and organisations that support them can contribute their experiences and thoughts using the contact details below.
|| Prisoner Policy Network c/o
Prison Reform Trust FREEPOST ND 6125
London EC1B 1PN