The Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service has responded to a video currently circulating on social media, in which prisoners reportedly are making claims of neglect.
In a statement to media today, Commissioner of Prisons (Ag), Dennis Pulchan, assured that there is proper management and mitigation of the spread of COVID-19 among the prison population—inclusive of staff members, prison officers and inmates—as far as humanly possible.
According to the statement, the Prison Service has implemented several measures to curb COVID’s spread, notwithstanding their major challenges of overcrowding and space constraints.
“Prisoners who have been tested, and those subsequently returning positive results for COVID-19, are immediately separated from the general population.”
The Prison Service also points out that only those prisoners who possess co-morbidities or have underlying medical conditions are sent to public facilities.
The release stated that “Due to the large number of persons returning positive results at the same time, and with a view to prevent the spread of the virus, the prisoners have been kept at the Maximum-Security Prison, housed separate and apart from the population.”
“We continue to be guided by the expert advice of the County Medical Office of Health, St. George East, and the importance and practicality of keeping the cluster together was impressed upon, in an effort to contain the virus to the particular location.”
With approximately 3,800 prisoners under its care, the prison service has maintained that the management of COVID-19 within the prison has been managed effectively, thus far.
Pulchan assured that “All efforts and resources are being utilized with a view to protect all staff members, persons under our charge and by extension, members of the public.”