UK News Coronavirus: will the UK government release prisoners?

09:35  24 march  2020
09:35  24 march  2020 Source:   theweek.co.uk

Prisoners could be released if coronavirus spreads to staff and inmates

  Prisoners could be released if coronavirus spreads to staff and inmates Prisoners could be released early if the coronavirus spreads to UK jails, the head of the Prison Officers' Association has told Sky News. © Getty Some prisoners may be released before the end of their sentences. File pic General Secretary Steve Gillan said that nationally 113 staff and about 75 prisoners were in isolation after showing symptoms although none have tested positive.

Iran has temporarily released more than 54,000 prisoners in an effort to combat the spread of the new coronavirus "Security prisoners " sentenced to more than five years will not be let out. A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We call on the Iranian government to immediately allow health professionals

But will prisoners be released as coronavirus cases increase? CORONAVIRUS has caused the Government to draw up emergency contingency plans to avoid disruption in England's prisons in the wake of a potential COVID-19 outbreak behind bars.

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Campaigners are calling for prison inmates who are old, infirm or not considered a threat, to be released immediately due to the threat of the coronavirus.

The Prisoners’ Advice Service has told the Ministry of Justice that these measures will have “no discernible effect on the crime rate”, but will “allow prisons to implement strategies for safely managing and caring” for prisoners who remain behind bars.

Campaigners say such a release would save lives of both inmates and also prison officers and other staff, with The Guardian reporting that up to 60% of prisoners could become infected with coronavirus.

Coronavirus: Prison officers 'should be at the front of the queue' for testing after inmate falls ill

  Coronavirus: Prison officers 'should be at the front of the queue' for testing after inmate falls ill Exclusive: Ministers are under pressure to give prison workers the sameA prisoner at HMP Manchester has fallen ill with the disease and is being treated in hospital, the Government confirmed on Wednesday. Four members of staff and 13 other inmates are self-isolating after coming into contact with the patient.

This article is about the impact of the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic on prisons around the world. On 16 March, the ACT government declared a public health emergency.

Coronavirus is just the start: Scientists warn there will be more diseases like this in the future and Some of New South Wale's 13,000 prisoners are set to be released early amid the coronavirus Cardi B questions the U.S. government 's response to coronavirus pandemic as millions remain in

The prison population in the UK is currently 83,500, the highest in western Europe, meaning that more than 50,000 people could become infected in Britain’s prison system.

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Two people in UK prisons have so far tested positive for the virus, one at Strangeways in Manchester and another at HMP High Down, Surrey.

Last week, the BBC reported that around 75 officers at HMP Berwyn in Wales were either off-work or self-isolating due to coronavirus, while 22 prisoners showing symptoms were also isolated.

Defying coronavirus guidance will be treated as criminal offence

  Defying coronavirus guidance will be treated as criminal offence Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said Police Scotland will be given the power to arrest people and force them into isolation.Defying the measures introduced in response to the Covid-19 outbreak will be a criminal offence, with officers able to detain culprits to protect public health.

Plans to contain coronavirus if it spreads, involving possible school closures, cancelling events and bringing NHS staff out of retirement, are to be set out by the UK government . Unnecessary travel could be curbed and people urged to work from home. Legislation will be introduced to ensure ministers

The government meanwhile is set to renationalise flag carrier airline, Alitalia. Belgium on Tuesday doubled its death toll from five to 10. Have you been affected by the coronavirus ? Share your experiences by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co. uk .

In 2018, a report by MPs found 15% of the prison population had respiratory conditions, which makes people more vulnerable to dying of coronavirus.

Ex-Conservative MP David Gauke, a former justice secretary, has called for the suspension of short sentences and the early release of some prisoners. He said cutting short sentences “reduces the churn” of inmates in and out of prisons, which would avoid transmission both ways.

He added: “There is a strong case for releasing some of those coming towards the end of their sentence a few months earlier. One should not overstate how significant that could be in reducing risks.”

Eric Allison, The Guardian’s prisons correspondent, writes that “local jails may become charnel houses if nothing is done to release those who represent at worst a nuisance to society”.

Allison says: “Those who say criminals deserve what they get should bear in mind that, in life, as in prisons, there is a pecking order. The poor and disadvantaged, who have committed no crimes, will be the next in the line of fire of this disease.”

Coronavirus Scotland: Calls to free short-term prisoners from crowded jails

  Coronavirus Scotland: Calls to free short-term prisoners from crowded jails Some inmates at Barlinnie in Glasgow are sharing a cell with two other people making it impossible to self isolate if anyone has symptoms.Overcrowding has meant many prisoners have to share bunk beds with a cellmate - which was meant to be phased put more than 30 years ago.

Key graphics explaining how coronavirus has spread in the UK and the government 's response. The number of deaths is now 177, according to the latest figures available. Some 62,993 other people in the UK have been tested for the respiratory infection but were found not to have it.

Press release . The government and the UK ’s Chief Scientific Adviser have today (Monday 23 March) backed the UK ’s leading clinicians and scientists to map how COVID-19 spreads and behaves by using whole genome Topical events. Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response.

The Times says that an outbreak among prison staff could force the hand of the government, reporting that a secret Ministry of Justice blueprint shows that thousands of low-risk prisoners would be released early if the coronavirus outbreak creates a shortage of staff in jails.

Other countries have already taken steps to release prisoners in the face of the coronavirus. In Iran, the Middle Eastern country worst affected by the pandemic, 85,000 prisoners have been granted temporary parole.

This includes Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British mother who was found guilty in September 2016 of attempting to stage a “soft overthrow” of the Islamic republic and is now serving a five-year jail term after being convicted of spying

There have been similar releases in Spain and some are planned in the US, according to the New York Post.

Meanwhile, the BBC says that at least 23 people have died in a Colombian jail, after what authorities are calling a mass breakout attempt amid rising tensions over coronavirus.

More on Coronavirus: will the UK government release prisoners?

Plans to release pregnant inmates from jail ‘within days’ .
The Ministry of Justice announced the plans to protect the prisoners and their unborn babies from coronavirus.Prison governors will be able to grant release on temporary licence to women who are expecting behind bars as long as they do not pose a high risk of harm to the public.

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