PRESS RELEASE: WIP response to the Criminal Justice Chief Inspectors' Report on the Impact of Covid-19 on the Criminal Justice System

The Criminal Justice Chief Inspectors’ report released today, Tuesday 19 January, on the Criminal Justice System’s response to Covid-19 highlights the devastating impact the virus is having on people in prison and supports Women in Prison’s calls to combine early release with prioritising those who work and reside in prisons for the vaccine.

CEO of Women in Prison, Dr Kate Paradine, says:

“With the majority of people in prison forced to spend so much time in their cells, some for up to 23 hours a day, and mental health at risk of irreparable damage, prioritising them and prison staff for vaccinations must be a key part of the Government’s strategy. Doctors don’t judge a person’s history when giving healthcare and neither should we, especially when people in prison have worse mental and physical health than those outside.

“However, this must be combined with early release. The Government needs to fulfil its promise of releasing 4,000 people at the beginning of the pandemic in order to protect the health of the prison and wider community, and our healthcare services.”

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CEO of Women in Prison Dr Kate Paradine is available for further quotes and broadcast opportunities. For media enquiries, please contact Molly Fleming at [email protected] or call 07860 695 752.

#Release2SaveLives campaign

Women in Prison are calling for the planned immediate release of pregnant women and mothers and babies on prison Mother and Baby Units; people in prison who have been recalled to prison for administrative breaches and who were already resettling on Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL); people who are particularly vulnerable to the virus due to age or underlying health conditions; people serving a sentence with 6 months or less remaining, and those on remand who can await for court hearings in the community. Please read our briefing on immediate release here.

About Women in Prison (WIP)

Women in Prison (WIP) is a national charity that delivers support for women affected by the criminal justice system in prisons. We work in prisons, the community and ‘through the gate’, supporting women leaving prison. We run three Women’s Centres and ‘hubs’ for services in Manchester, Surrey and London, and campaign to end the harm caused to women, their families and our communities by imprisonment.

See for more information. Twitter: @WIP_live