Earlier this year, we invited Howard League members in prison – and members with a loved one in prison – to share their experiences of imprisonment during the pandemic. In April, we built on this by asking young people on our advice line what the past two years had been like for them.
This is the third blogpost in a series on Howard League members’ experiences in prison during the pandemic. It focuses on what members told us about the importance of visits, the impact of no longer seeing family members and friends, and how much harder they have found visits with restrictions.
In survey responses gathered in February and March 2022, Howard League members who are in prison or have family members in prison told us about their experiences during the pandemic. They also told us what, in their view, the public needs to know.
This week the Ministry of Justice published a long-awaited review of custodial remand for children. This important document responds to concerns raised by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and the Justice Committee, and echoed by many others including the Howard League, about the ever-increasing proportion of children on remand in prison.
Today, the report stage of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in the House of Lords comes to an end. The amended bill will now go to a third reading in the House of Lords, followed by a “ping pong” stage where both Houses of Parliament must agree on the wording of the Bill.
As we come to the end of another challenging year, I would like to thank all Howard League members for your support in 2021.
Christmas is a difficult period for many, and particularly so for people in prison and their families. The calls this week to our legal advice line, from children and young adults, are a stark reminder of how life inside is very different from life outside at this time of year.
Last autumn, a young Black autistic man called our advice line: a prison officer swore at him and when he reacted with a similar insult, he was restrained by multiple officers. To add insult to injury, he was then issued with a disciplinary charge for talking back to the officer who had verbally abused him.