COVID-19 update and question and answer session – January 04, 2021. (PMO)

Relatives and friends of inmates at HMP Dodds have been given the assurance that all efforts are being made to ensure the safety and well-being of their loved ones.

But, Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams, said that given the present state at the St. Philip facility, in relation to a number of prison officers and inmates being in quarantine or having tested positive for COVID-19, there would only be essential contact at this point.

Joining a team of presenters led by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley to give an update on the country’s COVID-19 situation, Mr. Abrahams, however, encouraged relatives to contact the prison to get an update on the condition of their relative or friend, where possible.

Last evening, the Ministry had indicated that virtual prison visits were suspended until further notice, due to a reduction of available dedicated prison resources to oversee the process. It also indicated that normal visits would resume as soon as circumstances allow.

“At the end of the day, the safety and security of Her Majesty’s Prisons Dodds is our ultimate concern. We are concerned about the inmates who do not choose to be there, [but] they are in our custody and our care. We are managing with them as best we can.

“We are concerned about our staff; we are concerned about the people who tested positive; we are concerned about people who are waiting for their results, and we are doing the best we can to manage the situation. And I must say…it has been managed adequately up to this point in time,” Mr. Abrahams pointed out.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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