The following letter from ‘D’ – passed to us by Carl Cattermole and Lisa & Elliot of @bluebaglife – lays bare the horrific conditions being endured by prisoners during the Covid-19 pandemic. As Carl wrote yesterday, British prisons are a Petri dish for this virus and unless people are released en masse, hundreds of prisoners may well die. Since Carl’s piece was published, all prison visits have been suspended, mail is getting quarantined and a riot has broken out at Addiewell nick.
D, currently incarcerated, UK
“The recent Corona problem in prison has had a lot of questions brought up that can-not at this stage be answered. For myself a re-called prisoner with no charges but a breach of my license conditions ‘to ensure I reside at an approved premises’ this has left me feeling very worried about the effect this may have on more delays to my oral hearing.
My case has already had significant delays through no fault of my own and the thought of how this will effect myself and my partner is scary.
Officers that have mentioned to us that if the prison service goes into lockdown because of this (virus) it will mean we will be locked behind a cell door for 24 hours a day and the thought of that along with more delays with my parole has left me feeling very depressed and anxiety levels are sky high. I’ve never felt more trapped and powerless in all my life.
The wing I’m on there are a number of people waiting for parole dates so I do understand that there is already a major back-log of parole dates, however in my case there is full support for release from the prisons OMU my outside OMU and my recent pyscilogical report. One would hope that giving all these factors considertion the parole board would release myself and others with similar support for release to get ahead of the ovious add to backlog with the Corona problem will cause. There are no sanitisers which have been issued on the wings so we have to rely on soap and water from our cells. There may be a time when visits will cease until further notice and I understand why this may have to be put in place but again the thought of this is horrible to bare.
Some people are already getting very angry with some of the changes already made but I continue to remain calm and patient hoping that some prisoners that no longer pose a risk like myself are released to be with our loved ones during this pandemic.”