Temporarily release at-risk prisoners
THE EDITOR, Madam:
STAND UP for Jamaica has joined a number of human-rights organisations and individuals in calling on the Government to take measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus to the island correctional facilities.
The collection of human-rights activists has made a number of recommendations, including a call for the temporary release from detention of particular at-risk groups.
i. Persons 60 years and older.
ii. Persons with a weakened immune system.
iii. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
iv. Persons with chronic illnesses, including heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease and diabetes.
The United States has already confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its correctional facilities, and given the overcrowded state of Jamaica’s prison, we share the fear of the inmates a high possibility exists that there may be transmission of the virus in our correctional facilities.
This is of particular concern, given the movement of warders in and out of the facilities as they carry out their duties.