Most prisoners are being affected negatively by the highly restrictive conditions imposed on them as a result of the pandemic.
In England and Wales, about five cases of suicide were recorded in less than a week. A number of concerns have been raised over overwhelming impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on inmates.
The director of Investest of a charity concerned with deaths in custody said: “These deaths are a testament to the frustration and despair of those faced with inhuman living conditions and very restrictive regimes.
“Unlimited solitary confinement is the harsh reality for men, women and children throughout the prison, with harmful consequences for mental and physical health. Unless drastic measures are taken immediately, we fear the worst is yet to come, as the impact of the virus is felt throughout the prison.
“The government must show political courage and quickly reduce the prison population. This course of action can better protect the lives of inmates and staff. “
Since the introduction of the lockdown on 23 March, records have revealed that about sixteen prison inmates have committed suicide. In order to lower the risk of ore self-inflicted deaths, all visits were suspended.
The five suicide cases within six days have alarmed activists. However, the cases between 23 March and 21 May were not the highest ever recorded for a period like that. About 80 cases of prisoners committing suicide were recorded.
A fictitious justice secretary, David Lammy said: “The unusual increase in deaths in custody raises serious questions about whether the serious Covid-19 prison regime is a threat to welfare inmates.”