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    Assessing the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on prison populations

    Heard, Catherine (2020) Assessing the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on prison populations. Victims & Offenders 15 (7-8), pp. 848-861. ISSN 1556-4886.

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    The author directs the World Prison Research Programme at the Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research, based at Birkbeck (University of London). The programme’s research team monitors trends in world prison populations and examines the causes and the consequences of rising levels of imprisonment. A core component of the programme involves compiling and hosting the World Prison Brief, an online database providing free access to information about prison systems throughout the world. This Commentary revisits key findings from the Programme’s ongoing work on prison population growth and its links to prison overcrowding and poor standards of prison healthcare. Within this context, some of the main impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on prison systems worldwide will be discussed, with a focus on measures taken to reduce prison population sizes and restrictions put in place in prison regimes (including suspending social and other visits to prisons, home or work leave for prisoners, and related restrictions) to help control spread of the virus. Compensatory measures introduced to lessen the adverse effects of greater isolation and reduced contact with the outside world are discussed. It is argued that the pandemic has revealed an unprecedented need for a more health-informed approach to penal reform.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Pt 1 of a Special Issue Double on COVID and criminal justice systems. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online at the link above.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): COVID-19, prisons, public health, prison conditions, prison overcrowding, human rights, alternatives to imprisonment, health
    School: School of Law > Criminology
    Research Centres and Institutes: Crime & Justice Policy Research, Institute for
    Depositing User: Catherine Heard
    Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2020 11:27
    Last Modified: 27 Oct 2022 18:14


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