Briefing: A national plan for tackling coronavirus in prisons

Since March 2020, Women in Prison have been calling on the Government to #Release2SaveLives. Today, we are renewing these demands for release in our briefing which calls on the Government to roll out a national plan for tackling coronavirus in prisons, following a dramatic increase in the number of people testing positive for coronavirus across the prison estate and the recent 51% spike in the number of coronavirus-related deaths in prison.

We focus on the following three priority areas:

  • Health and the protection of life
  • Release and resettlement
  • Improving digital access

Our key recommendations include a prison-wide vaccination programme that prioritises both prison residents and staff, combined by a renewed commitment to early release which will reduce the spread of coronavirus in prison and enable women to safely isolate and access the support they need in the community.

We also recommend that the Government work in collaboration with community-based services, like Women’s Centres, to ensure support is in place for women released from prison during the pandemic and for newly-created sources of emergency accommodation made available to women released from prison.

This briefing also follows today's Criminal Justice Chief Inspectors' report on the Impact of Covid-19 on the Criminal Justice System, highlighting the devastating impact the pandemic is having on people in prison. You can view our response to this report here.

Read the briefing in full