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Prisoners could be freed to reduce pressure on jails during coronavirus outbreak



In an attempt to curb the spread prisoners could be freed to reduce pressure on jails during coronavirus outbreak.

The Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has said that releasing some inmates could help to ‘alleviate’ pressures on the prison system.

In speaking to the Commons justice committee he was ‘keen’ to make use of of release on temporary license.

This would be where prisoners are allowed out for short periods, if an assessment on them allowed for the risk to be low enough.

Read more: Vehicle owners to be granted MOT exemption in battle against coronavirus

In addition, of the 9,000 who were on remand and awaiting trial, he indicated that some could be moved to bail hostels and that he was examining ‘very carefully’ whether around 50 pregnant prisoners could be released as well.

As part of prison measures to curb the spread of the virus all prisons have cancelled visits from outsiders and inmates activities have been cancelled.

It has also been reported that hundred of phones are to be given to prosons to allow their inmates to keep in touch with family during the ban on visitors.

Chief executive of the Prison and Probation Service, Jo Farrar, confirmed 13 inmates had tested positive for coronavirus across 9 prisons.


How safe is my school in Crawley? Education union launches COVID-19 map



The National Education Union, the largest education union in the UK and Europe which represents over 450,000 members has launched a new website that they say provides ‘accurate, accessible and up-to-date information about the Covid-19 rate in the locality of every school in England.’

The site is aimed at people being able to check what the levels of Covid are around the school and whether the school is on a watch list or not.

They say the site is updated weekly, and the data will show the number of Covid-19 cases in a school’s surrounding area, the trend since last week (an increase or decrease in case numbers), whether or not the school is on a watchlist, and links to any local restrictions in place.

They add:

“In much of the country the map will offer reassurance that case numbers are quite low. In others, it will reinforce public health messaging from local authorities and Government that cases are higher. In all situations it will encourage members of the public to follow all public health guidance.

Where cases are higher, it will support head teachers in encouraging parents and other visitors to school sites to maintain social distancing and hygiene.”

Commenting on the launch, Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: 

“Everyone in the education sector has worked hard to make full opening of schools, colleges and universities as successful as possible this autumn, but they have been let down by the Government which hasn’t even ensured that Covid testing has kept pace with need.

“But this website will also encourage parents to support our asks of the Government that they help to support safety in our schools and colleges.

“Parents, students and staff also need urgent answers on next year’s exams, and how fit for purpose they will be. This is in light of not only the past summer’s fiasco, but also the disruption of local lockdowns in the months ahead.”

You can check the information around your local school at their new site by clicking here.

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