During imprisonment, inmates face many difficulties to adapt to prison life well depicted in either classical works or recent research. They usually face many struggles related to the lack of contact with their families. For instance, the less the number of prison visits, the higher levels of aggressiveness and, consequently, the lower levels of adaptation. Additionally, this population is already problematic in “normal conditions” of their imprisonment. When facing crisis – such as the Covid-19 pandemic – their mental and emotional conditions become even worst. Inmates may experience higher levels of anxiety and stress due to the uncertain and high-risk circumstances they are all living. In addition, the deprivations of the support from their families, combined with the higher risk they are exposed due to the danger of Covid-19 virus’ contamination, substantially increase their concerns and could contribute to their lack of adjustment. The present chapter refers to the policies implemented by the Portuguese Prison Administration to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and a provisional balance of its effects after one year of implementation. Besides information regarding inmate’s mental health conditions during pandemic, data on recidivism rates and criminal activity will also be discussed concerning their implication for future penitentiary policies.
Part of the book: Anxiety, Uncertainty, and Resilience During the Pandemic Period