Responding to the suspension of the prisoner early release programme, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, David Lammy MP, said:
“It is deeply troubling that out of the handful of inmates released so far as part of the government’s new scheme responding to Covid-19, six were released in error. The mistakes made must be quickly understood and remedied.
“These errors must not be used as an excuse for inaction in the face on an oncoming public health disaster. Prisons are overcrowded, with thousands of cells containing more than one inmate, against the advice of Public Health England.
“If the Ministry of Justice does not take sufficient steps to move towards single cell occupancy, it is not only inmates and prison officers who will be put at risk. NHS Hospitals will become overwhelmed and the virus will spread rapidly from prisons across the wider pubic.”