Pregnant women in custody who do not pose a high risk of harm to the public will be temporarily released from prison within days to protect them and their unborn children from coronavirus. Prisoners in Mother and Baby Units meeting the same risk assessment will also be released with their children the Government has announced.

Prison governors will be able to grant their release on temporary licence once they pass a risk assessment and suitable accommodation for the women has been identified.

The Prison Service last week took steps to ensure prisons are complying with social distancing rules and provided alternative means for prisoners to keep in touch with their families after cancelling family visits.

The Prison Service has already helped isolate pregnant women and new mothers and their babies from the wider population. From yesterday, transfers within the prison estate will be limited in all but exceptional cases.

All actions have been informed by the advice of experts from Public Health England.


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