SPS Covid19 Route Map

SPS Covid19 Route Map

On 25 June 2020, SPS published their Covid19 Route Map. Previous communication had referred to an unpublished Pandemic Plan and an explanation of how SPS planned to ease prison regime restrictions was keenly awaited. It contained a huge amount of operational detail, covering a wide range of areas. It was criticised by many, however, for being overly complex and being targeted at various audiences - both internal and external. It contained no information re timeframes of moving between phases, although advised that this would not necessarily mirror the rate of lifting of similar restrictions in the wider community. We were particularly troubled by the advice that transitions from each phase would be "premised [firstly] on having the appropriate level of staff resource available to safely make these changes for all who, live, work and visit our prison estate" i.e. not premised on the wellbeing of prisoners or human rights obligations.

It was published against the backdrop of a Ministerial Statement on 17 June 2020, which advised that the 15% reduction in the prison population should not be temporary.

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