News 4 April 2020

Up to 4,000 people will be released early from prison because of Coronavirus

4 April 2020

Up to 4,000 inmates are to be released from prison in England and Wales in an attempt to control the Coronavirus spread.

According to the Ministry of Justice, inmates who have 2 or fewer months left to serve will be released on a temporary license in stages. 

Anyone convicted of violent or sexual offences or anyone that is deemed a national security threat or a risk to children will not be considered for release according to the Prison Service said.

No prisoner convicted of COVID-19 crimes like coughing at emergency staff or stealing personal protective equipment will be eligible either.

The identified low-risk offenders will be electronically tagged, and at the first sign of concern, they will be recalled.

This is to avoid more prisoners becoming infected with COVID-19 as many of them share cells.

88 prisoners have tested positive for the virus and 1,200 are believed to be self-isolating. 

Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary Robert Buckland QC said, “This government is committed to ensuring that justice is served to those who break the law. But this is an unprecedented situation because if coronavirus takes hold in our prisons, the NHS could be overwhelmed and more lives put at risk.”

Over in the states, the Coronavirus crisis led to 6ix9ine’s early prison release as his asthma put him in high-risk categories.