Last weekend's reannouncement of plans to waste £2.5 billion building four new prisons brings home just how deeply entrenched prisons are as social institutions.
At our final webinar on socially-distanced justice last week, Adam Elliott-Cooper of The Monitoring Group and the University of Greenwich spoke about the demands being made by the black lives matter protestors.
Since the start of the coronavirus crisis we have been tracking its impact on the criminal justice system.
Great Britain is on course for a massive expansion in prison capacity, according to a new assessment from the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, out today.
"Since 1999, there have been at least double the number of black deaths in police custody than ever before."
The government and Prison Service in England and Wales think that they have a good story to tell on coronavirus in prisons.
The distressing news yesterday that five prisoners killed themselves in prisons in England and Wales over six days is a reminder, if such is needed, of prison's dreadful toll of misery and despair.
This week it emerged that prisoners with coronavirus symptoms have been locked in their cells in Wandsworth prison for up to 14 days at a stretch.
Last September a woman on remand in Bronzefield prison gave birth, alone, in her cell. The baby died.
As the government finalises its plans for easing the lockdown, the lockdown in prisons looks set to intensify.
A regrettable feature of the current coronarvirus crisis is the government using it as an excuse to expand prison capacity, rather than as a prompt to address our crisis of overincarceration.