Monday, 06 April, 2020


Inmates released on bail to decongest central jail

The Maricopa County Estrella Jail in Phoenix Arizona. Due to the coronavirus some Arizona sheriffs are calling for the release of certain offenders from jail and urging police agencies to issue citations rather than arrest people. [Ross D. Franklin  AP P Citing virus concerns, officials in Iowa reduce prison, jail numbers
Patty Aguilar | 25 March, 2020, 16:37

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland did not rule out considering releasing prisoners when asked if this could help ease the pressure on prisons.

In keeping with the BBC, the conservative MP Robert Buckland informed the Home of Commons that 4000 jail employees out of 34, oo0 at the moment are self-isolating with 12 confirmed circumstances.

Among the coalition's requests are the release of people jailed for misdemeanors, as well as people in prisons who are over the age of 50 or have been in prison for more than 25 years.

He also indicated some of the 9,000 inmates who are on remand, awaiting trial, could be transferred to bail hostels, if it was safe to do so.

Arrangements for handwashing were in place at the entrances of the 10 blocks inside the prison.

Amnesty International UK's head of policy and government affairs, Allan Hogarth, said elderly prisoners and those with underlying medical conditions should "immediately" be considered for release "if they do not pose a threat to themselves or society".

Prison officials said they were remand prisoners and were released on bail as per court directions.

Jails in England and Wales were put on immediate lockdown last night with all visits cancelled as it emerged thousands of staff were in self-isolation.

This lockdown in prisons implies that inmates are locked up of their cell for over 23 hours a day.

While announcing, the Ministry of Justice said: "We have suspended all prison visits in England and Wales for today".

The phones will not have internet access and would only be handed out to risk-assessed prisoners on a temporary basis, the MoJ said.

All prisoners would be checked for high body temperature before entering the prison and would be isolated if any COVID-19 symptoms were identified, the officials said.

As of writing this article, there have been 424,114 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus throughout the world.

He stated that he could have to contemplate the choice of releasing a number of prisoners early to "alleviate pressures".

About 50,000 protective masks have been delivered for staff to use and a ban on bringing hand sanitiser into prisons has been lifted.

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