Bishop of Gloucester asks Government about cell sharing, shielding and deaths from Covid-19 in prisons

On 16th June the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester, received  written answers to three questions on Covid-19 in prisons.

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: HL4969 To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many prisoners (1) meet the criteria for being considered clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19, and (2) are currently following shielding guidelines, broken down by prison.

Lord Keen of Elie: NHS England and NHS Improvement are responsible for commissioning healthcare services in English prisons. Local Health Boards are responsible for prison healthcare services in Wales. Local prison healthcare services hold information on the number of prisoners considered clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid-19; we do not hold this information centrally.

The number of prisoners currently following shielding guidelines broken down by prison can be found below (data as of Friday, 29 May):

Prison Number of prisoners currently shielding Prison Number of prisoners currently shielding
Askham Grange 9 Lancaster Farms ~
Bedford 9 Leeds 84
Berwyn 50 Leicester 9
Birmingham ~ Leyhill 17
Brinsford 5 Lindholme 15
Brixton 53 Liverpool 78
Buckley Hall ~ Long Lartin ~
Bullingdon 11 Low Newton ~
Channings Wood 11 Lowdham Grange 5
Chelmsford 11 Manchester 35
Dartmoor 27 Moorland 135
Deerbolt ~ New Hall 27
Doncaster 30 North Sea Camp 15
Dovegate 32 Norwich 40
Downview ~ Nottingham 22
Durham 18 Oakwood 9
Eastwood Park 17 Onley 8
Elmley 20 Parc 46
Exeter 9 Peterborough Female 12
Featherstone 12 Peterborough Male 13
Feltham 16 Portland ~
Ford 21 Ranby 30
Foston Hall 16 Rochester 13
Frankland 8 Rye Hill 41
Full Sutton ~ Stafford 64
Garth 4 Stocken 13
Gartree 5 Styal 19
Guys Marsh ~ Sudbury 7
Hatfield 10 Swansea 16
Hewell 62 Swinfen Hall ~
Hindley 5 Thorn Cross 4
Hollesley Bay 8 Usk 13
Holme House 32 Wakefield 22
Hull 28 Wealstun 117
Humber 18 Wetherby ~
Isle of Wight 27 Winchester 16
Kirkham 8 Woodhill 8
Kirklevington Grange 5 Wymott 317
    Total 1,892

Notes:

  • The symbol ~ denotes suppressed values of 3 or fewer (and totals that would allow values of 3 or fewer to be calculated) to avoid the risk of identifying individuals.

Prisons not included in this list did not report having any prisoners shielding at the current time.


The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: HL4968 To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many prisoners are currently sharing a cell with one or more others, broken down by prison.

Lord Keen of Elie: On arrival into custody, all prisoners’ suitability to share a cell is risk assessed. These assessments are based on numerous factors including index offence, health concerns and security information (such as beliefs and prejudices).

Since March, we have introduced strong measures to avoid thousands of prisoners and staff becoming infected with COVID-19. This includes restrictions on movement between jails, the early release of low-risk offenders and the temporary expansion of the prison estate. These measures have helped to contain the spread of the virus and limit deaths. This action has helped to reduce the prison population, allowing establishments to implement ‘compartmentalisation’.

We are installing over 1,000 temporary cells to increase space and help reduce the spread of the virus. These units are being placed where there are the highest number of shared cells, a lack of in-cell sanitation and where there are high numbers of vulnerable prisoners. We have also opened an Annex at HMP/YOI Rochester to hold up to 70 men.

As at 29 May 2020, 35% of the prison population are sharing cells holding two or more people and this is broken down by establishment in the table below. The detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system.

Prison Total number of prisoners sharing cells Proportion Prison Total number of prisoners sharing cells Proportion
Altcourse 684 64% Leicester 219 68%
Ashfield 152 37% Lewes 176 33%
Askham Grange 0 0% Leyhill 0 0%
Aylesbury 0 0% Lincoln 422 71%
Bedford 242 68% Lindholme 336 36%
Belmarsh 476 58% Littlehey 134 12%
Berwyn 1,056 61% Liverpool 412 59%
Birmingham 582 64% Long Lartin 0 0%
Brinsford 290 53% Low Newton 12 4%
Bristol 217 45% Lowdham Grange 6 1%
Brixton 532 74% Maidstone 52 9%
Bronzefield 104 23% Manchester 284 39%
Buckley Hall 72 16% Moorland 258 29%
Bullingdon 737 69% New Hall 32 9%
Bure 10 2% North Sea Camp 164 41%
Cardiff 398 58% Northumberland 0 0%
Channings Wood 44 7% Norwich 250 36%
Chelmsford 302 45% Nottingham 402 48%
Coldingley 0 0% Oakwood 810 41%
Cookham Wood 0 0% Onley 154 22%
Dartmoor 0 0% Parc 736 46%
Deerbolt 14 4% Pentonville 668 72%
Doncaster 760 70% Peterborough 398 47%
Dovegate 224 19% Peterborough Female 74 27%
Downview 0 0% Portland 128 26%
Drake Hall 41 17% Prescoed 36 17%
Durham 744 82% Preston 441 69%
East Sutton Park 86 98% Ranby 322 33%
Eastwood Park 80 26% Risley 178 17%
Elmley 683 62% Rochester 218 35%
Erlestoke 64 13% Rye Hill 158 24%
Exeter 334 71% Send 0 0%
Featherstone 110 17% Spring Hill 2 1%
Feltham 130 44% Stafford 508 71%
Ford 0 0% Standford Hill 0 0%
Forest Bank 801 58% Stocken 240 23%
Foston Hall 142 46% Stoke Heath 302 42%
Frankland 0 0% Styal 235 62%
Full Sutton 0 0% Sudbury 232 50%
Garth 22 3% Swaleside 0 0%
Gartree 22 3% Swansea 254 71%
Grendon 0 0% Swinfen Hall 62 11%
Guys Marsh 98 23% Thameside 680 62%
Hatfield 16 5% The Mount 220 22%
Haverigg 0 0% The Verne 21 4%
High Down 633 56% Thorn Cross 36 11%
Highpoint 236 18% Usk 207 84%
Hindley 248 44% Wakefield 0 0%
Hewell 508 64% Wandsworth 1,120 77%
Hollesley Bay 44 10% Warren Hill 0 0%
Holme House 724 63% Wayland 286 30%
Hull 555 57% Wealstun 0 0%
Humber 260 27% Werrington 0 0%
Huntercombe 208 45% Wetherby 0 0%
Isis 246 42% Whatton 112 14%
Isle Of Wight 156 15% Whitemoor 0 0%
Kirkham 16 3% Winchester 238 50%
Kirklevington Grange 0 0% Woodhill 24 5%
Lancaster Farms 120 23% Wormwood Scrubs 601 56%
Leeds 746 75% Wymott 16 2%
Grand total       27,845 35%

The Lord Bishop of Gloucester: HL4967 To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many (1) men, and (2) women, have died in prison, or while under probation services, from natural causes that may have been exacerbated by COVID-19.

Lord Keen of Elie: We are working hard to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the justice system as part of the national plan to protect the NHS and save lives. In our prisons and in the community, we are implementing a range of measures to reduce the spread of the transmission of the virus and the numbers of lives sadly lost. This has included the implementation of restricted prison regimes, the early release of low-risk offenders, temporary expansion of the prison estate and the reduction in the number of face-to-face probation meetings.

As of 5pm on Friday, 5 June, we are aware of 21 men and 2 women in prison and 13 men and 2 women under probation supervision who have died from natural causes that may have been exacerbated by contracting COVID-19.