‘A death sentence’ Advocates warn of COVID-19 spread in jails, prisons
Originally published by The National Post – Daniela Germano on 25/03/2020
The article is an overview of the current status of advocates for detainees in light of COVID-19. In summary, advocates across Canada are calling for the release of non-violent offenders (including releasing detainees awaiting trial, granting some inmates early parole, as well as releasing all youth, asylum seekers and immigrants in custody) and the creation of a unified plan to deal with the health and safety of inmates during the COVID-19 pandemic.Additionally, the article notes that the Canadian Prime Minister has acknowledged that detainees are at a higher risk of contracting and spreading the virus, but federal officials did not disclose any nationwide plan. Further, while the federal Correctional Service of Canada is taking preventive measures to keep staff and inmates safe, they have not provided specifics on this points. However, the article suggests that the government may want to consider invoking a section of the Canadian Criminal Code that allows the federal cabinet to grant prisoners who are not deemed a public safety threat a conditional pardon and immediate release.