(CMR) Despite a rise in COVID-19 cases among Jamaica's prison population, the country has opted not to allow the release low-risk prisoners.
The latest information from the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) is that close to 40 members of the correctional services and 24 inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Following nine new positive cases inside one of the country's correctional facilities, the DCS noted it had ramped up procurement activities have been bolstered to increase the number of surgical masks and supplemental sanitisation supplies.
In addition, efforts have been made to increase cleaning activities in keeping with recommendations from the Ministry of Health and Wellness of facilities.
The Director of Medical Services in the Department, Dr Donna-Michelle Royer-Powe, said the new cases recorded were largely asymptomatic.
“The positive cases recorded in the correctional centres continue to be largely asymptomatic, most confirmed cases have been identified because of contact tracing, line listing and targeted testing in the institutions. We have had 16 cases have recovered and our latest targeted testing programme at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre (TSACC) saw 99 tests returning negative results,” said Royer Powe.
The department said it continues to emphasise and carry out protocols established by international bodies and other benchmark corrective organisations versed in the management of outbreaks within correctional institution to prevent outbreak,
While 630 inmates are currently eligible for parole, Minister Without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Matthew Samuda said that eligibility for parole does not necessarily mean that they would be released.