Despite a rise in Covid cases in prisons across England and Wales, too many staff still don’t use adequate PPE

I was reminded recently that I had passed a somewhat significant milestone on my journey through this existence. A friend asked me when I had started with the Guardian and what the first story I wrote was. I checked back and found my first offering was dated 5 December, 2003 – 17 years ago. This means I have been scribbling for a living longer than I spent in prison, which was 16 and a half years on and off –across the previous five decades.

2020 was by far the busiest in this, my second career, because of what I have been recording about the imposition of Covid restrictions that have kept prisoners locked up for 23 hours with no access to rehabilitation, curtailed prison visits and had a severe impact on physical and mental health.

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