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Prisons: Recreation Spaces

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL12597, tabled on 26 January 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that prisoners are given access to gardens, recreation and green spaces in prisons as frequently as possible.

Answered on

9 February 2021

All adult prisons are currently in a stage four regime, as outlined in the National Framework, to reduce contact between people and therefore reduce the chance of transmission of COVID-19. The regime restrictions we have implemented have brought new and different challenges across the prison estate and it is not currently practicable to provide as much access to open spaces as would ordinarily be the case for those in prisons where these facilities are available.

However, all prisons are required to deliver the essential elements of prison regime which includes daily access to exercise, wellbeing checks, domestics (e.g. phone calls, showers and cell cleans) and, in some cases, some structured on-wing activity.

The Ministry of Justice and HM Prison and Probation Service understand the importance of maintaining the safety, mental health and wellbeing of prisoners and this has remained a priority during the COVID-19 pandemic.