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Short Update: European Prison Observatory publishes its ninth update on COVID-19 and European prisons

FT Admin - June 8, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, Prisoner releases, prison conditions

The European Prison Observatory published an update on COVID-19 and prison conditions in six European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Portugal). 

Since March, France has released 14,000 prisoners to halt the spread of COVID-19. As a result, there are currently less than 59,000 inmates in French prisons for 61,137 places. 

In many of Italy’s prisons, family visits have restarted but it is left to the prison administration to decide how many people can access the prison according to circumstances of the facilities. In many cases, the administration has suspended the access to technology for detainees, while in other cases there is possibility to decide whether to benefit from video-calls or to have in-person visits from the family.  

In just six days, five detainees committed suicide in English and Welsh prisons, causing more fears that the restrictive regime used to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on prisoners. There have been 16 self-inflicted deaths in British prisons since the beginning of the lockdown on 23 March. Children are reported to be currently struggling with the lack of visits since some facilities don’t even have the means to guarantee the videocalls. 

We publish information as it is reported to us. If you would like to make us aware of an inaccuracy or send us more information please email us at [email protected]

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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