At the time, however, most prisoners, if they thought about it at all, thought they would be in the chapel for a few hours, attract some attention, maybe win on a few of the points, undoubtedly lose a little remission. Nobody had any idea of the scale of the events which would unfold.
Increasingly, there is awareness that family experiences of abuse and neglect impact on later behavior.
Behind this large number is a much bigger one, counted in the millions, of lives blighted through the loss of a loved one; through illness; through the ongoing effects of long-COVID and other complications.
“I’m deeply sorry for every life that has been lost”, Boris Johnson said earlier this week. “What I can tell you is that we truly did everything we could and continue to do everything that we can.”
Objections can be dismissed as transphobic attempts to exclude one type of women just because they had the misfortune to be born with the wrong set of genitals.
However, while I might be a transwoman I am also a science teacher. In 2017, I rejected the transwomen are women argument when I could not defend it from the most basic challenge:
It was a question posed this week by the MP Zarah Sultana during a meeting of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.
"Prisons are a high-risk setting for transmission, as well as hospitals, nursing homes and schools", she said to the vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi. She continued:
As you can see in the graph below, after a steady decline in November, confirmed cases in prisons began to rise again throughout the middle of December, reaching a peak in the week ending the 21st, when over 800 new cases were recorded. Cases then appear to have fallen abruptly in the following two weeks.
2,407 confirmed cases were recorded between 1 December and 4 January. That's over two-fifths of the nearly 6,000 cases recorded in prisons since the pandemic began.
The relationship between mother and infant is that of giving, taking and giving back. The infant, too young to understand the world or itself, feels raw and overwhelming emotions. It is the mother’s role to ensure the infant, and its feelings, are seen, responded to and ‘given back’ in a manageable way. This process, known as containment, helps the infant to learn about itself, its existence and impact upon the world.
Part of the reason for this mildly aversive behaviour relates to the central topic of his book which is a sharply observed ethnographical critique of the expanding and influential role of forensic psychologists in the prison system. It evoked a memory of a fractious professional encounter I had whilst working with a newly appointed forensic psychologist at the probation office in which I was then working.
What’s happened so far in the second wave in prisons?
As you can see from the graph below there have been a further 2,312 confirmed cases in prisons in England and Wales between 9th November and 14th December (there is no data for the first week of November). Also in that period, there were 17 COVID-related deaths. In the week to 14th December there were 49 prisons with active outbreaks.
The answer should be no. The Chief Inspector's job is to inspect prisons, report on conditions and make recommendations for improvements.
You might know that it is rare for women to be imprisoned – women make up only five per cent of the total prison population – and that it is very rare for women to commit serious offences.
The prison population now
The first thing to point out is that the significant fall in the prison population we saw from March through to July has been sustained, although the rate of decrease has been much lower. The prison population in England and Wales now stands at just under 79,000, compared to nearly 84,000 at the start of March.