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Prisons to build temporary cells to stop coronavirus spread in jails

Temporary cells will be built on the grounds of Highpoint Prison. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Temporary cells will be built on the grounds of Highpoint Prison. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

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Temporary cells are to be built in the grounds of two Suffolk jails in a bid to stop coronavirus from spreading in the prisons.

The temporary cells at Hollesley Bay Prison are designed to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARYThe temporary cells at Hollesley Bay Prison are designed to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Campaigners have called on the government to urgently cut the number of people behind bars to avoid an “intolerable human cost” of Covid-19.

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A total of 149 inmates had tested positive for coronavirus in 47 prisons as of 5pm on Wednesday, although it is not known which prisons those cases have been in.

At least 10 prisoners have died after contracting the virus, while 28 prison staff have tested positive in 17 prisons - as well as five prisoner escort and custody services employees.

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Now the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has announced it will build single occupancy temporary cells at Hollesley Bay prison near Woodbridge and Highpoint prison near Newmarket, where lower risk category C and D offenders will be held until risk assessments are carried out.

On Saturday, the MoJ announced up to 4,000 low-risk prisoners will be temporarily released from jail in an effort to try to control the spread of coronavirus.

MORE: All of the coronavirus news in Suffolk

The low-risk offenders selected for early release will be electronically tagged and temporarily released on licence in stages, although they can be recalled at the first sign of concern.

These plans are to be extended to young offenders, although charities have dubbed the plans “wholly inadequate”.


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