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.
The pandemic has impacted on the rights of children whose parent is in prison. Their right to family life (Article 8, Human Rights Act, 1998)
I keep experiencing cognitive dissonance. It comes from reading government speeches and accounts that say one thing, set against a reality (much of which the
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