Coronavirus: Mobiles for prisoners suspended after their visit

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Contact with family members is considered important for mental well-being


Scottish prisoners must have access to mobile phones to be able to contact their families.

The move follows the suspension of prison visits due to the Covid-19 epidemic.

The Scottish government and the Scottish Prison Service hope that access to telephones will improve the mental health and well-being of prisoners.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said they were important prisoners and their families were supported.

He said: “We will ensure that the use of mobile phones in prisons is practical and safe – for prisoners, their families and members of the wider community.

“The phones will be provided as soon as possible after we resolve some outstanding issues and put in place the robust systems necessary to deploy and manage this new approach to communication across the prison.”

No SMS

Restrictions on the use of phones will include monitoring certain outgoing calls.

Prisoners will not be able to send SMS, access the Internet or receive incoming calls, in accordance with the proposals.

Teresa Medhurst, Acting Director General of the Scottish Prison Service, said difficult decisions have been made to control the spread of the virus.

She said, “The availability of telephones for detainees is a crucial means for us to support and maintain family contacts during this time of uncertainty. “

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