Prisons have been pretty grim places in the last couple of months. The young people who have managed to phone through to the Howard League legal advice line tell us they are locked up almost all day and we know that this is the same for adults.
In the past few weeks our legal team has been working hard to help children and young adults in prison. At a time when young people are being locked in their cells almost all day, we are working to get them safely released wherever possible.
The last Justice and Fairness blogpost discussed how, in the middle of a pandemic, the rights of people in prison are more important than ever. Last week’s post focussed on the need to release people from prison in order to relieve pressure on the system.
Parliament has just passed the Coronavirus Act 2020 which grants an enormous increase in state power. There have already been complaints that the police are exceeding their new powers. This new age of emergency laws has renewed debate around the need to protect our ever-fragile human rights. In the uniquely coercive environment of a prison, it is all the more important that people’s rights are respected.