Governor of HMP Liverpool’s letter to family of every inmate

The governor of HMP Liverpool has sent an letter to the family of every inmate at the prison as she continues to 'manage a number of virus cases'

Pia Sinha, who was appointed as Governor in 2017, informed families that mass testing had been rolled out at the Category B/C men's prison.

Her letter offered an update to families on the Covid-19 situation, revealing there are still a number of cases at the prison after restrictions were put in place to try and stop the spread.

The letter, posted on Twitter, also confirmed families are still prevented from visiting loved ones at the prison.

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It comes after the ECHO revealed strict measures were being employed in the prison, with one inmate's partner claiming he had been locked in his cell for up to 24 hours a day.

The letter read: "I will not be able to make any immediate changes because I am still managing a number of cases of coronavirus within the prison.

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"In partnership with Public Health England, I have put in place a series of control measures on a number of the wings and these have been supported with two rounds of mass coronavirus testing.

"The second round was completed yesterday and the results gives me cause for cautious optimism that our measures have worked and by the start of next week i hope to be in a position to facilitate more time out of their rooms for your loved ones."

It added the vaccination programme was being rolled out in the prison successfully, but it was following the Government's plan of prioritising jabs by age and vulnerability.

The Governor said: "Our vaccination programme is following the community and so people are being vaccinated by age or if they have a condition which might put them at a higher risk if they catch coronavirus."

It was previously confirmed to the ECHO there had been a small outbreak of the virus inside the prison and action was being taken to contain the spread of it.

A partner of an inmate, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed prisoners were being kept in their cells up to 24 hours a day and denied basic access to shower facilities.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice told the ECHO the "prison is working hard to ensure as many prisoners as possible are given time out of their cell," and they are given "regular" access to showers.

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The partner of the inmate said she understood prisoners were being offered coronavirus tests regularly.

She claimed prisoners were given a choice if they'd like to take one, but if they said no they would face tough lockdown restrictions.

The MoJ confirmed to the ECHO prisoners who refuse to be tested must isolate for 10 days – separately from those who have tested positive or who are isolating as a result of track and trace – "for the safety of others".

The MoJ added: "this is kept under regular review, in-line with public health guidance."

A Prison Service spokesperson previously said: "Our priority is to limit the spread of the virus and protect the lives of those who live and work in our prisons.

"We have taken precautionary measures at Liverpool, in line with public health guidance, and will continue to closely monitor the situation."

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