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Covid: prisoner mental health at risk of ‘irreparable damage’

Outgoing chief inspector for England and Wales criticises 23-hours-a-day confinement

Locking up prisoners in what amounts to solitary confinement under Covid restrictions risks causing “irreparable damage” to their mental health and does nothing to reduce reoffending, the chief inspector of prisons in England and Wales has said.

Publishing his final annual report before stepping down after nearly five years in the role, Peter Clarke said ministers and officials should see the coronavirus crisis as a chance to “reset the aspirations for what prisons could be about”.

Related: As a prison officer, I’m afraid of what Covid restrictions are doing to inmates | Anonymous

Related: The loss of UK prisoners’ rights is the forgotten injustice of the Covid-19 crisis | Nick Cohen

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