Measures announced to protect NHS from coronavirus risk in prisons
Speaking in response to the announcement by Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland in relation to the early release of prisoners, David Lloyd, APCC Lead for Criminal Justice and Sue Mountstevens, Deputy Lead said:
“In this unprecedented time of national emergency, it is right that we do everything we can to protect the NHS and save lives. Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) understand that the Government needed to take the difficult decision to release low risk prisoners back into the community in order to avoid thousands of prisoners becoming infected and overwhelming our vital NHS services. Keeping our communities safe is at the heart of what we do.
We are reassured that the early release will only apply to low risk prisoners who have a verifiable, safe and suitable address to be released to and that those who are released will be subject to close supervision and electronic tagging arrangements. High risk prisoners will not be released. It is critical that victims and the public have confidence in this process. To this end, as Chairs of Local Criminal Justice Boards, PCCs will be closely monitoring these arrangements to make sure that all agencies play their part in keeping the public safe and ensuring that those subject to early release keep to their conditions and are effectively rehabilitated back into the community.
PCCs across England and Wales have a key role to play in ensuring that the voice of victims of crime is heard and that victims receive all the help and support they need. We are working closely with victims’ organisations to ensure that victims receive timely information throughout this process and are able to access any additional help and support that they need. We will work closely with government, victims’ organisations and wider partners in keeping the process under review.”