Coronavirus (COVID-19) and prisons

From the Ministry of Justice


Prison visits are temporarily suspended following instructions for people to stay at home, protect our NHS and save lives. We will update this page when this changes.


There are a number of other ways to contact someone in prison if you are unable to visit them. For example you might be able to leave a voice message using the Prison Voicemail Service or send them an email using the email a prisoner service. You can also write to them.

As a temporary measure, secure phone handsets will be given to prisoners at 55 prisons allowing risk-assessed prisoners to speak to a small number of pre-authorised contacts.

There are also a number of other helplines that can provide guidance.


What is being done to keep people safe in prisons


Prisons have been working closely with public health and NHS services to put robust contingency plans in place. The plans prioritise the safety of staff, prisoners and visitors.

Existing, well-developed procedures are in place to manage outbreaks of infectious diseases and prisons are prepared if cases are identified. Plans are in place for dealing with staff absences if staff working in prisons need to self-isolate.


Handwashing facilities are available to prisoners, staff and visitors and we have worked closely with suppliers to ensure the supply of soap and cleaning materials.

Risk-assessed prisoners who are within two months of their release date will be temporarily released from prison, as part of the national plan to protect the NHS and save lives.

Visit MOJ website for guidance


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