The Department has continued to take steps to implement the recommendations made in this report, as well as others made by independent experts and scrutiny bodies, as part of its robust response to protect prisoners and prison staff from COVID-19.
Progress has been reflected in the development of Exceptional Delivery Models which cover areas such as social visits, education and time in the open air. This forms an integral part of the National Framework for Prison Regime and Services Recovery which is currently being implemented.
The recommendations made by the report note the importance of clear communication and ensuring that prisoners feel supported and listened to. The majority of establishments have now resumed social visits which are vital for maintaining family contact and prisoners’ wellbeing. As we move to Stage 2 of the National Framework, prison governors will have more autonomy to shape their regimes in a way that responds to local dynamics and continues to keep staff and prisoners safe from COVID-19.