5th May 2020
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, HM Inspectorate of Prisons Scotland temporarily suspended all prison, Court Custody Unit (CCU), and prisoner transport inspections. However, it has now developed an adapted methodology to inspection and monitoring, resulting in a Remote Monitoring Framework and Liaison Visits Framework, which will allow for the continued safe visitation to prisons and other settings, ensuring human rights are upheld.
The Remote Monitoring Framework underwent proof of concept testing commencing 27 April 2020 and will be subject to continuous improvement and formally reviewed in July 2020.
The Framework sets out actions based on the CPT Statement of principles relating to the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty in the context of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Interestingly, these actions are then given a set of indicators each, by which HMIPS will monitor their achievement. For example, where the action is “To take all possible action to protect the health and safety of all persons deprived of their liberty. Taking such action also contributes to preserving the health and safety of staff” this will be monitored by:
Where the action is "In cases of isolation or placement in quarantine of a detained person who is infected, or is suspected of being infected, by the COVID-19 virus the person concerned should be provided with meaningful human contact every day” this will be monitored by:
Another eight actions, as well as indicators for how they will be monitored, are outlined in full in the HMIPS Remote Monitoring Framework here.