Letter to Cabinet Secretary for Justice: COVID-19 and prisons

The Scottish Human Rights Commission has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf MSP, raising ongoing concerns about the management of COVID-19 in Scotland's prisons. 

The Commission is seeking assurance that steps will be taken to address the rising prison population, which is fast approaching pre-lockdown levels.

The Commission also asks that urgent steps are undertaken to better understand the prevalence and increased risks associated with COVID-19 for those who live and work in Scotland’s prisons.

Read the full letter, which has also been copied to the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee and Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons in Scotland. 

Judith Robertson, Chair of the Commission, said:

“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have engaged with the Scottish Government and the Scottish Prison Service on a range of issues when it comes to protecting the rights of people who live and work in Scotland's prisons. 

"Given the prison population is now rising again, as are COVID infection rates, it is all the more important that action is taken to address our longstanding concerns. In particular, we remain concerned that insufficient data is being provided to enable us to have confidence that people's rights are being adequately respected and protected across the prison estate."


Notes to Editors

1. The Commission's previous correspondence with the Cabinet Secretary is available here and here.

2. The Commission's correspondence with the Scottish Prison Service is available here and here