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ISSUE 1454

Locked up in lockdown

To mark the anniversary of the first lockdown we’ve put together a special edition taking a look inside the prison system to find out how lockdown has impacted people already locked down. Almost the entire magazine has been created by people who have spent time inside over the last year.

We understand the severity of criminal acts and their far-reaching implications across communities. Our aim is not to moralise or excuse but to understand the impact of the pandemic in a population often overlooked, especially in the last year. So we hear first-hand from inmates about the reality of spending 23 hours a day inside a cell, the mental health impact of that and how they keep connected to their children on the outside. Others write on subjects varying from film reviews to music, nature writing and food. Throughout is artwork created by prisoners working with Koestler Arts, including this week’s cover image.

We also give a platform to the charities and organisations who work with prisoners so they are ready – and ready not to reoffend – when they are released, asking what happens if their work to rehabilitate has been put on hold. A prison chaplain gives their view, a prison librarian writes about the challenges they face. This unique edition provides a platform for voices that aren’t heard, and what they have to say is worth listening to.

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