Government respond to Coalition call for Early Release of Prisoners during Coronavirus Pandemic

The Government has responded to an open letter from charities Women in Prison and INQUEST, signed by a coalition of organisations including PAS. The letter – which was sent to Minister of State for Justice, MP Lucy Frazer, in March – called for the government to reduce the amount of people in prison in order to reduce the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. The reply asserts that appropriate actions were taken and this has resulted in limiting the spread of Coronavirus in prisons. Despite the reply, as of 29 May only 128 prisoners have been released under the Early Compassionate release scheme, and the mental health of prisoners continues to deteriorate. A further letter has now been sent by Women in Prison and INQUEST – which can be read here. Further details of the Early Compassionate release scheme, including a template letter for requesting early release, can be found here.