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“The reality is that nine months after the start of this pandemic, with outbreaks in May in some federal institutions, this is not a new problem, and the fact that they did not have an emergency plan in place. , it seems pretty brash ”. Haggerty said.
“They are afraid, they are worried. Even those who feel like it’s a mild cold, they get tidbits of news like everyone else. They know it can be bad. They are concerned about the long-term effects of the COVID contraction. ”
Haggerty pointed out that many inmates at the Calgary remand center are in jail awaiting trial. He said the Alberta Justice Department has a responsibility to ensure the safety of those in its custody and said inmates should not be forced to remain in a potentially dangerous situation.
He added that staff members are also at risk of epidemics. The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees announced on Friday that a correctional officer in his 50s working at the Fort Saskatchewan Correctional Center had died after contracting COVID-19.
Management of the outbreak has been inadequate, Schrade said. She asked people to empathize with the prisoners and their families who were affected.
“People say, ‘You committed the crime, too bad, too bad.’ But they are also people we love and care about, ”she said.
Haggerty agreed that inmates deserve humane treatment while in detention and called for increased transparency about conditions in correctional facilities.
“The information we get from the corrections seems wrong and there is no external control mechanism over the conditions our clients face, and it’s easy for the general public and it’s easy for the courts to rule out. first-hand reports. people accused of offenses, ”he said.
The Calgary remand outbreak is the largest to date in an Alberta correctional facility.
An outbreak in early fall at the Calgary Correctional Center was linked to more than 150 cases. There, prisoners detailed dirty conditions and inadequate medical care as COVID-19 spread.