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.
When the vaccination programme started to be rolled out, we urged the Ministry of Justice to implement a prison-by-prison strategy. This is not what happened, and now it seems that the various authorities and experts are blaming each other for the low take-up.
We are all aware that contracting Covid can have devastating effects and I know two people who have been suffering from ‘long Covid’ that has laid them out for almost a year. Health services are only just beginning to investigate the many different symptoms and what treatments might be useful.
Our members and regular supporters are the very beating heart of the charity. We rely on them for information about what’s happening across the country and for their activity in holding local decision makers to account.