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Prisons: Coronavirus

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 19th March 2020.

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Photo of Richard Burgon Richard Burgon Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to redeploy prison staff to cover front-line prison services during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Richard Burgon Richard Burgon Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of releasing low-risk prisoners to ease overcrowding during the course of the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

HMPPS is doing everything it can to prevent the spread of COVID-19, based on the very latest scientific and medical advice. We are working closely with Public Health England, the NHS and the Department of Health and Social Care to manage the challenges we face.

The safety and wellbeing of staff, prisoners and visitors is paramount and at the heart of our approach.

We have robust contingency plans in place, which are informed by advice from Public Health authorities. Part of our contingency planning involves the ability to deploy staff flexibly. We are taking steps to boost staff availability so that we can look after prisoners properly and minimise the impacts on regimes of staff absences.

We are not planning to release prisoners in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes4 people think so

No7 people think not

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