The impact of Covid restrictions on prisoners and prisons is to be examined in a new Swansea-led research project, which has been awarded £251,240 by the Economic and Social Research Council, to see what lessons can be learned.
Pandemic control measures create huge difficulties for prisons and prisoners. The cramped physical conditions of many prisons make it very difficult to observe social distancing.
Many prisoners are extremely vulnerable, with emotional and mental health difficulties, and high rates of violence, suicide and self-harm. A disproportionate number of prisoners are from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, a group that is at particular risk from Covid.
Health protection measures to tackle Covid have meant additional constraints for prisoners, on top of normal prison restrictions. For example, for the vast majority, work, education, rehabilitation and family visits have been suspended or significantly reduced and time spent confined to a cell has increased.
The project is to be led by Professor Jason Davies of Swansea University’s department of psychology, with collaborators from universities in Belfast, Liverpool, Lincoln and Leicester and from the Ministry of Justice.
The team will be trying to establish the impact of introducing restrictions – and of easing them – on prisoners’ psychological wellbeing and their behaviour. They will be examining any differences in the responses and analysing what factors may lie behind these differences.
Their findings are likely to be relevant to the prison system as a whole. However, they are focusing on a particular sub-group of prisoners across 34 prison sites who are following the Offender Personality Disorder Pathway.
They will be interviewing a sample of prisoners from this group, as well as analysing data on mental health and wellbeing across time.
Professor Jason Davies of Swansea University, lead researcher for the project, said: “Understanding and learning from the impact of COVID-19 in prisons, and responses to it, is essential.
We need to identify how to build resilience, in case further restrictive measures are needed as the pandemic continues.
Our findings might also highlight practices that can make a positive difference to prisons and prisoners in their normal day-to-day running.
The research will also allow us to examine whether certain groups amongst prisoners, for example ethnic groups, are disproportionately affected by COVID and the response to it, as is the case in the wider community.”
This research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to Covid-19.
Council describes 10 year-old Leon as ‘Environment Hero’ for Whitland litter picks
How one woman’s tragic loss helped save a child given just hours to live
Children’s hospice say they’re determined to keep doors open despite energy crisis
Council announces nearly 90 projects to tackle post-pandemic cost of living crisis
Free ‘Grow How’ session to help gardeners make the most of autumn gardening
Llanelli Half Marathon: Running on a high
Strictly Come Dancing: Ellie Simmonds talks first dances, fake tan and facing off for Glitterball glory
Cleaner water linked with smaller cockles that die younger, research on Burry Inlet reveals
West Wales women up for awards in leading Welsh ceremony
Top Welsh chefs and hospitality professionals to judge new competition
Bus drivers set to walk out in First Cymru pay dispute
From stamps and coins to passports and police helmets: What will change following the death of the Queen
Gorseinon pub overlooking rugby and cricket club could become flats
Smoke seen for miles as former Cinderella nightclub on Mumbles Pier catches fire
Council suspends non-essential services on September 19
Pembrokeshire crowds ready to welcome 10th IRONMAN Wales
Plans for apartments on former Neath Workingmen’s Club site
Tributes paid to HM Queen Elizabeth II as communities prepare mourning arrangements
28 year-old Port Talbot stroke survivor takes on mountain climb after learning to walk again
Transport strikes postponed following Monarch’s death
Bridgend4 days ago
Bus strikes back on after Queen’s funeral postponement
Bridgend3 days ago
Bus strike cancelled after First Cymru and unions come to agreement
Motoring6 days ago
Coastguard release dramatic pictures of car after it falls off cliff at Mumbles car park
Llanelli5 days ago
Everything you need to know ahead of the M&D Care Llanelli Half Marathon
South Wales Police5 days ago
Police want to speak with this man after assault in Uplands
Cardiff Airport6 days ago
Cardiff Airport restarts Italian flights and gets new direct Romanian destination
Business6 days ago
TUI Invests in team with help of Gower College Swansea
Police and Crime6 days ago
Elderly not the biggest victims to fraud: Expert tips on avoiding scams online