As we mark one year since the first national restrictions were introduced, we also pause to mark a National Day of Reflection across the UK.
HMP Forest Bank will join the nation in a minute’s silence at noon today, to remember those we have lost and think about those who have been bereaved.
Information for the Family and Friends of Residents at HMP Forest Bank
As we continue to make progress against the Covid-19 virus, we can look forward to cautiously easing our restrictions in prisons and I am optimistic that 2021 will bring many positive developments at Forest Bank.
The increased protection offered by the vaccine currently being rolled out to those residents who qualify, and heightened on-site testing will I hope, result in the easing of many restrictions across the prison in the coming weeks.
On Monday 22 February the Prime Minister announced the government’s roadmap to cautiously ease the lockdown restrictions in England however, as the restrictive measures are lifted within the community, change will be reflected more slowly across the prison estate.
In line with Government guidance there is currently no date set to re-introduce face-to-face social visits at HMP Forest Bank and all visits remain suspended for the foreseeable future.
While I know this news will be disappointing, let me assure you that re-introducing visits remains at the top of my agenda and I am looking forward to the day we can welcome resident’s families and loved ones back to HMP Forest Bank.
Please note that HMP Forest Bank will consider visits for exceptional compassionate cases, which should be agreed in advance with the prison. Purple Visits are also available click here for more information.
The changes coming over the next few weeks and months will see us move through tiered stages that will present opportunities to open more of the regime, such as introducing small resident group activities, opening essential workshops and eventually opening our doors for social visits.
I know this remains a worrying time for many residents and their families. I want to reassure you that we continue to monitor and review the virus threat with our partners at HMPPS, PHE and Salford City Council. Our priority remains the same - to protect the safety and wellbeing of everyone living and working at Forest Bank.
We will only move to engage in the easing of restrictions, when there is evidence that the infection in our prison is minimal and reflects those levels in the wider community.
I want to stress how proud I am of the staff and residents at HMP Forest Bank and take the opportunity to thank them for their hard work, commitment, understanding and determination throughout this pandemic.
As always, we also appreciate your patience and understanding during this difficult time and thank you for your continued support