Following our statement last week welcoming the planned temporary early release of low risk pregnant women and women in Mother and Baby Units, on Saturday the MoJ announced an expansion to the early release scheme.
Over the next few weeks, approximately 3,000 inmates will be released early. It will apply to those who have been assessed as low risk, are non-violent, not a sex offender, not a security risk and, are within two months of their release date. They will be subject to electronic monitoring (tag).
We add our voice to our colleagues in the Criminal Justice System (CJS), who have called for effective measures to support everyone been released early by making sure they have safe and stable accommodation and can access Universal Credit.
The MoJ announcement can be read in full here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/measures-announced-to-protect-nhs-from-coronavirus-risk-in-prisons
CEO of the Traveller Movement Yvonne MacNamara said: We welcome these new measures and we recognise this will be a big task for the CJS to safely manage, however, we believe it is necessary in these unprecedented times as it will help protect the safety of inmates, staff and reduce pressure on the NHS. We also hope that, despite the challenging circumstances, we are gradually beginning to establish more creative, safe and sustainable methods for alternatives to custody, which in the long run can only be a good thing, including for groups who are currently over represented in the youth and adult prison estates. Finally, we send our sincere condolences to everyone affected by the sad deaths of Bovil Peter and Patrick Beckford, the two members of prison staff at HMP Pentonville who both displayed symptoms of Covid19.
Patricia Stapleton, policy manager
T: 020 7607 2002
Notes to Editor
* The Traveller Movement (TM) is a national community development policy and voice charity who campaign against discrimination, promote inclusion, participation and community engagement for the Irish Traveller and Gypsy communities in Britain. TM is proud to work in partnership with the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities together with service providers and policy makers across the UK to better promote social inclusion and community cohesion. www.travellermovement.org.uk