This talk was part of a podcast on BBC Radio 4, first broadcast 30th June 2021. For the full podcast version, including an extended Q & A, go to Four Thought, on BBC Sounds
It is one year since prisons in the UK instituted restricted regimes in a bid to manage the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It is one year since many of the 300,000 children whose parent is in prison have been able to see their parent. A report, published 15th March 2021, highlights the experiences of more than 70 children and their caregivers during the first lockdown in 2020. Available to download here.
Have you time for a story? It’s about real people and real life. Jane was charged with a criminal offence and a court date was
Lockdowns both inside and outside prisons look like they will be part of our national life for some time, and it is not too late for changes to be made which prioritise children’s wellbeing in conjunction with public health in prisons.
Children need carefully supported and good contacts with their parents. Digital contact should be used to enhance face to face contacts; it should not be the pinnacle of contact, experienced by only a tiny proportion of children during this time. Particular thought should be given to the ways to re-introduce face to face contact for younger and disabled children who cannot engage with telephone or digital contact effectively
What has happened with prisoner release and covid-19 infection in prisons this week? Experts and the Government’s own pandemic plan mentioned here confirm that there is