Thu | Oct 29, 2020

St Catherine inmate dies at hospital

Published:Friday | September 25, 2020 | 2:15 PM
St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre - photo contributed

An inmate at the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre died this morning while being treated at the Spanish Town Hospital.

Leslie-Ann Brown, director of corporate communications at the Department of Correctional Services, says the inmate reported feeling ill and was taken to the institution's hospital ward for observation.

She says that the condition of the inmate, who had no previously known ailments, worsened and he was transferred to the hospital where he died.

She added that the St Catherine facility has no recorded cases of COVID-19 in its inmate population and that the authorities are awaiting a post mortem report to confirm the cause of death.

It was noted that the department continues to maintain its infection, prevention and control protocols to mitigate against the entry of the virus into facilities with no known cases and containment where it is present.

The department says additional precautions have been taken in facilities with suspected and known cases to prevent and contain the spread of the virus.

These include:

· Infection, prevention and control protocols led by the department’s medical contingent and supported by the public health department to manage outbreak at affected facilities.

· Only medical appointments on a discretionary basis will be kept.

· The personal protective equipment for staff and inmates have been distributed to all facilities in accordance with health ministry stipulation.

· Isolation and quarantine of the known and suspected cases.

Additionally, a COVID-19 Dashboard, updated twice weekly, has been created by the department and shared via its corporate website and social media channels to facilitate transparency and tracking of the management of the virus in the island’s Correctional facilities.

In August, four inmates and one correctional officer from the Horizon Adult Remand Centre in Kingston tested positive for COVID-19.

At that time, Carla Gullotta, executive director of prisoner-rights group Stand Up For Jamaica, expressed concern that scores of inmates may be vulnerable to the spread of the virus, citing the country’s long-standing problem of overcrowding in prisons.

Gullotta called for the Holness administration to release low-risk prisoners, especially juvenile offenders who have not seen their relatives in months and are prone to psychological problems.

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