Prison. Do you know anyone in Prison? What must it be like in these dark times of COVID-19; Why the question now? Truth media reports that their outbreaks in nearly all our prisons and one man has died.

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Fred Bassett abhors the damp and cold; the dreariness of a day as we head into the Winter of Discontent. COVID-19 is stealing a second year of our lives; we can identify with the loss but what must it mean to people in prison who are curtailed from washing, going to the gym and in many cases are lock-up for 21 hours of the day in a miserable cell with no smartphone, computer, internet to stimulate their stagnant brains. The radio, the TV ie if they have access to same gives out the same boring diatribe of hardship which can only compound their situation. I am thinking of a man aged 90 who is in a prison and will be there for another two years. I ask does this make us inhumane society? Are there boundaries?

To anyone who fears for the mental health of someone who is in prison, I recommend the Irish Penal Reform Trust link below. We are living in dark, harrowing, uncertain times, criminals have broken the law and they are serving their time but we must be alert to the fact that the Punishment they were sentenced with, is further compounded in an unquantifiable situation by a sentence imposed by COVID-19 and the cost to them will most likely be in the future when they are suffering, like many from what is already named and that is Post Pandemic Stress Disorder”.

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