Previously compensation had only been paid when officers were convicted of committing a crime, but that's changed and now former inmates can make a claim against officers even if they haven't been convicted.
The amount varies from £1,750 to £5,000 depending on the length of time they served and the extent of their injuries.
No date has yet been set for when the compensation scheme will end.
Claims for those who were sexually abused are being handled separately.
Travel delays on roads and some delays and cancellations to rail and air travel are likely.
Durham hospital patients pass wave one peak
Covid patient numbers at the University Hospital of North Durham are exceeding the first peak of the pandemic, its medical director says
Jeremy Cundall (pictured), from the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We're running at just about 200 cases in the trust compared to the peak of wave one which was 150.
"We do have a lot of Covid wards open across the organisation but as you'd expect we've had 200 patients, so that works out at eight to nine ward occupants."
County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation TrustCopyright: County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust
The situation means additional stress on other hospital departments, with the trust having to stand down some elective surgeries, so nursing staff can be released to other areas, although cancer treatments are continuing.
Mr Cundall is urging people to follow the rules and save lives.
He said: "The people who don't believe it's serious now are never going to believe it's serious and frankly anything I say to them will go in one ear and out the other.
"From my point of view I would be appealing to the vast majority of people who do understand this is a real problem to say to them - follow the rules and that will be the way, with the vaccination, that we get out of this situation.
"And everyone else who doesn't get it, they're never going to get it."
North East GP on Covid jab says 'Don't call us, we'll call you'
BBC Radio Tees
People in the North East are being asked not to contact their GP to ask about the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out.
Doctors are reassuring residents in priority groups that they will be contacted as soon as their vaccination is due.
Stockton GP David Hodges said: "I think 'don't call us, we'll call you', is a good message to get out there.
"We are so busy with our phone lines at the moment, with different inquiries about the NHS, anything we can do to reduce that demand is a massive help to make sure the patients who most need to speak to us, can get through.
"We are still working through the first priority group, and until we've done them we can't move on anywhere else, that's the over 80s and the care home patients who remain our priority and we haven't finished that group yet."
For some parents the timing of announcement was difficult with short notice of the imminent school closures.
Paul Rickeard (pictured), director of education for Newcastle and Durham diocese, which heads more than 100 church schools, told BBC Radio Newcastle: "In all honesty I'm not completely surprised but disappointed with the timing of the announcement. You'll find out today that some schools have closed to all pupils."
"We had partial closures yesterday and it's really hard for parents in this situation and incredibly frustrating for our teachers and our leaders in our schools."
Dioceses of Durham and NewcastleCopyright: Dioceses of Durham and Newcastle
Mr Rickeard also said there had been an increase in the number of parents contacting his schools asking if they could send their children in as key workers. He's asked parents to only use school as a last resort.