In many European countries, containing the spread of Covid-19 has come at the price of human rights. European prisoners have had to endure extended isolation, suspended visiting hours, and the cancellation of training and recreational activities.
While the poor state of French prisons led many to fear a serious health crisis in the wake of Covid-19, the worst of those fears have not materialised. However, the drastic lockdown measures have done nothing to benefit the mental health of detainees. Nor have they led to any serious reevaluation of the system itself.
Prisons make fertile breeding grounds for viruses, yet administrations have revealed little about Covid-19 cases, deaths and vaccinations in Europe’s prisons. Data from 32 countries show the pandemic’s impact on prisons.