Government must go further to prevent Covid-19 crisis in prisons

Responding to news that the Ministry of Justice will temporarily release risk-assessed prisoners who are within two months of their release date to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading in prisons, Liberal Democrat Justice spokesperson Daisy Cooper said: “It’s a relief to see that the Government are finally listening to prison governors, who have been warning of a Covid-19 crisis in overcrowded prisons for weeks. This decision should have come much sooner given the scale of the threat.

“The Government must urgently take steps to further reduce risk in prisons, including releasing all low-risk prisoners serving short sentences – not just those already reaching the final months of their sentence. This would significantly reduce overcrowding in prisons, better protecting prison staff, prisoners and – by reducing transmission – help our NHS.”

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