In March we started an emergency fundraiser for people suffering in prisons during the Covid lockdown. We received 689 donations totaling £20,174 which allowed us to make payments to over 600 people who applied to our emergency fund. A huge thank you to everyone who donated - we’re humbled by your generosity.
Although your kindness has allowed us to provide some material relief to those inside - the importance of which cannot be underestimated - the situation is still dire.
Prisoners have been held in 23 hour lockdown since the beginning of the pandemic with no signs of it being lifted. The Prison Officers’ Association is using the opportunity to push for this lockdown to be made permanent even after the pandemic is over. These harsh measures initially appeared to have mitigated the spread of covid in prisons - at least by numbers of deaths. However, there are now worrying reports of covid outbreaks in prisons including Lowdham Grange.
Visits, so important for the mental health of prisoners and their loved ones, are being stopped due to local restrictions, if they had even restarted in the first place. Our Empty Chair (@OurEmptyChair on Twitter) have been campaigning on this issue.
Prisoner Solidarity Network will continue to organise around these issues, and we welcome anyone - particularly those with friends and family in prison - to get involved. You can find us on Twitter @psn_ldn, @prisonersolidarity on instagram, and our website at prisonersolidaritynetwork.uk, including further contact details.
Although this fundraiser is closed, if you would like to donate to other campaigns working to abolish prisons, we would greatly appreciate you supporting the following grassroots organisations:
Cradle Community runs workshops on transformative justice to make a world without prisons a reality. https://www.gofundme.com/f/cradlecommunity
Bent Bars Project letter writing project to support LGBTQI people in prison
Books Beyond Bars provides books to LGBTQIA+ prisoners free of charge
CAPE is currently campaigning to prevent the construction of new mega prisons in the UK
Finally, as of November 2nd, the “send money to a prisoner” service no longer allows payment by bank transfer; only payment by debit card. If this affects you, do get in touch with us.