Responding to BBC reports that “prisoners in England and Wales will be confined to their cells for 23 hours a day and allowed out only to shower and use pay-phones, with all visits cancelled”, Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesperson Daisy Cooper said:
“This is a regrettable but necessary measure to limit the spread of coronavirus in prisons and keep prison staff, prisoners and our communities safe.
“However, it must only be a temporary measure for the duration of this emergency. It is vital that the Government recognises the damage this will do to prisoners’ rehabilitation and the likelihood that it will lead to more reoffending.
“Prisoners already spend too much time locked in their cells, unable to engage in productive activity or receive rehabilitative services. Reoffending rates are already far too high.
“When this crisis is over, the Government must focus on dramatically improving rehabilitation, both in prison and in the community, to stop reoffending and prevent people becoming victims of crime.”