Following a recent article in The Telegraph about worrying inspection reports from three UK prisons during COVID-19, Spark Inside CEO Vicki Cardwell wrote a letter to the newspaper, which was published today.
The letter reads:
SIR – Peter Clarke, the chief inspector of prisons, has revealed (report, May 19) the price that prisoners are paying during this coronavirus lockdown. Most are spending more than 23 hours a day in their cells, with no family visits, education, or chapel, and some with symptoms of COVID-19 have been denied showers for up to two weeks.
This extreme situation is unsustainable for both prisoners and staff. Prisons are already pressure cookers, but this pandemic has turned up the heat.
We must not underestimate the long-term mental health toll on people who live and work in prisons. We need an urgent recovery plan.
As the nation eases out of lockdown, prisons must not remain out of sight and out of mind.