The coronavirus pandemic and the measures implemented to control it have had an extraordinary impact on society. Prisons are no exception, with the number of people incarcerated in penal institutions dropping significantly across the globe.
These reductions are, however, not uniform. In France, the prison population fell from 72,000 to 59,000, a drop of nearly a fifth in a matter of months. England and Wales saw a more modest fall of five per cent, decreasing from nearly 84,000 before the lockdown in March to just over 79,000 now.
In this webinar, we explore changes to prison populations across a selection of European states asking the following:
- How has the prison population changed in different European populations during the pandemic?
- What factors have impacted these changes?
- What are the implications for managing the virus in prisons and handling or preventing future outbreaks?
- What are the implications for reforms aimed at reducing the prison population in future?
- Matt Ford, Research Analyst at the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies on England and Wales
- Emma Jardine, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at the Howard League Scotland
- Cecile Marcel, Director at Observatoire International des Prisons on France
- Alessio Scandurra, Managing Board Coordinator of Antigone's Observatory of Prison Conditions in Italy
This event is part of the Centre's COVID-19 in prisons project, funded by the Hadley Trust.