Prisoners Scared During Lockdown


Prisoners Scared During Lockdown

One of the key public-health messages of recent weeks has been: Wash your hands. But at Coldingley prison in Surrey, 279 inmates do not have toilets or sinks in their cells. They’re scared.

On Tuesday, after two weeks of lockdown, the prison started handing out buckets, soap and shower gel to the prisoners. We’ve also been told officers are trying to get the prisoners to the toilets and showers more.

A Prison Service spokesperson told us they are keeping conditions at Coldingley as hygienic as possible. Up to 4,000 risk-assessed inmates are being temporarily released across the country to ease pressure on prisons.

I am not a scientist, and evidence will take two weeks to start to show. But early indications are not encouraging.

I live in Shibuya, a few minutes’ walk from the famous “scramble crossing”. I went down there at lunchtime, trying to keep 2m from everyone I passed. That was impossible.

Yes, there were fewer people than normal – but normal in Shibuya is shoulder to shoulder. It is not like that now, but nor is it empty. Burger King and McDonalds were deserted, but the ramen shops were still crowded.

Outside the station there’s a smoking area where tobacco lovers crowd in for a post-lunch puff. Today it’s taped off, but the smokers were just standing outside it, bunched together as close as usual.

WHO Warns Against Easing Coronavirus Measures Too Early

No-one who’s lived in Japan will be particularly surprised. Friends back in the UK tell me their impression of Japan is of a well-organised society – which is true – that will respond quickly to the coronavirus pandemic – which is not.

The biggest obstacle to reacting fast is hierarchy. Japan is top-down, with a culture that doesn’t allow you to question the boss.

For weeks everyone has been waiting for the big boss, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, to make a decision. Finally, last night he did.

Prisoners Scared During Lockdown


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