UK prison population falls by 3700, but not due to early release scheme.
The UK prison population has fallen by at least 3,700 since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, due to courts being closed and police making fewer arrests.
Recently published official figure show a reduction of nearly 4000 people currently held in UK prisons. This figure however is down to the reduction of arrests and court closures rather than being as a result of the previously announced early release schemes put in place to combat the current coronavirus situation.
Explaining the reduction in prison numbers, Lord Keen (Ministry of Justice spokesman in the House of Lords), commented in debate on April 23: “There has been a fall in the prison population due to the upstream changes in law enforcement and court activity.”
In fact at the time of reviewing the figure for this article only 30 people have been released early from prisons under the early release scheme. This is a far cry from the 4000 that was previously stated would be the target figure.
Reports from within our local prisons paint a grim picture of current prison life under the lockdown conditions right now, and an early release for those who we are due to work with in the community would be a blessing for them.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those inside, awaiting their release and with their friends and families.
Everyone at YR prays for a swift end to the pandemic, and a return to normal prison visits and activities.