On the same day as the adjudication discussed in the previous Justice and Fairness blog post, we attended a second adjudication at the same prison. The second adjudication was very clearly unfair, in terms of the charge that was brought and the process itself.
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.
The programme on justice and fairness will look at everyday injustice as well as procedural justice in prisons. Prison regimes are rife with everyday injustices: inconsistent processes, arbitrary decisions, bureaucratic delays, ignored complaints, poor living conditions and the lack of privacy afforded by a shared cell.
In the same week that the government announced its plans to release low-risk pregnant women and women with young babies from prison to protect them from coronavirus, our lawyers brought a case to the Court of Appeal on behalf of a young mother in prison.
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.