Now that there is a case of Covid19 within the prison system, a call is being made for the release of those remaining prisoners who were due for early release.
The call has been issued by the Caribbean Centre for Human Rights (CCHR).
In a release to the media from CCHR executive director, Denise Pitcher, the organisation said was deeply concerned at the confirmation of a covid19 case at the prison.
The CCHR said that while it commended the Government on its efforts to reduce the risk of an outbreak in the prison population through the early release of non-violent prisoners in March, it urged the authorities to release the remaining prisoners.
The CCHR said “Prisoners are already at heightened risk of covid19 due to factors that include a lack of adequate sanitation and hygiene, a high incidence of underlying medical conditions and a lack of adequate medical care. An overcrowded prison amplifies this risk.”
“It is almost impossible to social distance in an overcrowded prison and places the entire prison population at risk for contracting covid19.
The CCHR urged the government to implement its commitment to release the remaining prisoners selected for early release, as part of the government’s mitigation strategy to reduce the risk that a covid19 outbreak would pose.
The prison service said the area where the prisoner was kept was immediately evacuated and sanitised. Prisoners who shared the same cell were immediately put under quarantine and are being observed for symptoms.
Of the 957 prisoners that were due for early release, only 121 were released early.