Caribbean Centre for Human Rights on COVID-19 in T&T’s prisons

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    The Caribbean Centre for Human Rights is calling on the government to take the necessary steps to protect the health of the prison population and the wider community.

    This follows the news that over 80 prisoners have so far tested positive for COVID-19 in Maximum Security Prison.

    The CCHR says while it recognizes government’s efforts to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in the prison system, these still fall short of standard practices and recommendations from the WHO and other international bodies.

    It maintains that sanitization and mask wearing alone will not effectively contain the spread in an overcrowded space, and points out that it is impossible to social distance in prisons.

    It also warns that this issue also affects the wider community since prisons do not operate in isolation.

    The organization reminds as well of a proposal from the Attorney General seven months ago for the release non-violent offenders jailed for minor offenses, in a bid to reduce the prison population.

    To date, no prisoners have been released.