COVID has affected many things in our day to day lives, and during the pandemic many things were put on hold.

However, prisoners in the UK had their lives placed on hold and for the past 18 months it looked like there was never going to be any light at the end of the tunnel.

“It is tight, claustrophobic, there is nowhere to move”

A story on recent news has shared the recent experiences of a previous inmate who was recently imprisoned at HMP Bullingdon, Bicester, in 2020 and the events that he encountered during his 6 month prison sentence.

The 19-year old, told the story of is experiences during his 6 month sentence where whilst trying to clear his name, faced the untold truths of what prison truly holds for a person, especially during a Coronavirus outbreak.

During his short but terrifying time behind bars, he described his time as claustrophobic, and even most times, he would be placed in cells with other convicted prisoners, and on a daily basis he would face having to see stabbings and fights between the inmates.

The story then continued to describe what life was like behind bars during the pandemic.

“There is nowhere to move”

During the pandemic, many prisons across the UK were on a lockdown of their own. Regimes restricted and Prisoners and prisoners limited to what time they could have outside.

It was described as being stuck in a cell on a day to day basis, describing the cell as a metre and a half wide by three metres long, and sharing the cell with one other person, for 24 hours a day.

The conditions were intense, sharing their beds and toilet with each other, their entire space, every, single, day.

The news of this brought forward Prison Reform Campaigns who shared that those being held in remand are now more likely to be vulnerable.

When interviewed, Andrew Neilson from the Howard League for Penal Reform stated that being in remand in prison has always been a very stressful experience. It is not a punishment, but it can feel like a punishment.
He then carried on to say that most prisoners feel they have been doubly punished because you are being imprisoned during a pandemic.

During these strict conditions, it has led to a lot of prisoners self harming, and over the last five years, levels of self harm have hit a record high of 50% increase, HMP Bullingdon being in the middle of these recent figures.

A spokesman has said that they cannot fully investigate all anonymous claims, however their actions have saved thousands during the pandemic. And now restrictions at Bullingdon are easing but in-line with public health advice.

Their is now a campaign for better conditions for prisoners on remand.

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