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Submission to the Justice Committee for Evidence Sessions with the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales (21/22 May 2020)

19 May 2020

“The government has expressed ‘cautious optimism’ that measures in place to prevent transmission of Covid-19 in our prisons are proving effective. However, it is clear that this comes at a cost. ‘Compartmentalisation’ and social distancing is being achieved, as far as that is possible, through heavily restricted regimes, involving the cancellation of all social visits, and the stopping of almost all education, training and employment. Time out of cell for all prisoners is significantly curtailed with very limited opportunity for exercise and association. Conditions are consistent with, or very close to, international definitions of solitary confinement (22 hours or more alone each day). Worryingly, Public Health England’s (PHE) advice to the government suggests that restrictions will have to continue into next year if the virus is to be contained and managed.”

Read the full submission

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