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.
In normal times I would ask you to imagine what it is like to be in prison. But right now, in the middle of a global pandemic, we are all living in constrained conditions. For some of us, these constraints are more difficult or more restrictive than for others.