Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 07, 2020 (SKNIS): Commissioner of Corrections at Her Majesty’s Prison in St. Kitts and Nevis, Terrance James, indicated that several precautionary measures were implemented very early on to safeguard inmates from contracting the COVID-19 virus.
“We have taken proactive measures very early at Her Majesty’s Prison from since March 22. We stopped all visits to Her Majesty’s Prison and so the general public had no access to our inmates,” said Commissioner James. “The inmates and staff were also educated about the COVID-19 virus and how it can be transmitted and so we had doctors [visit] the prison and hold sessions with both inmates and staff. This was one of the major proactive steps that we would have taken to educate inmates and reassure them of how we are going to prevent the virus from being transmitted into Her Majesty’s Prison,” he added.
During the May 06 National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) COVID-19 Daily Briefing, Commissioner James said sanitization measures are also in place at the compound and staff were educated accordingly and continue to be screened upon entrance.
“We also began to put protocols in place in that we had general cleaning in Her Majesty’s Prison. We would have sanitized the entire compound and… we educated the staff on continuing to sanitize and do their little bit at home so that when they return to the prison they do not contaminate the prison.” We were also able to source a thermal thermostat to check the temperature of the staff when they enter the prison.”
Mr. James said that he has been liaising with his colleagues in the region to discuss best practices to apply them to the COVID-19 fight within prisons.
“I have been in contact with my other counterparts in the region and so far, as of today, May 06, none of the staff or inmates of prisons in the English-speaking territories have any infection of the COVID-19 and so, we are thankful for that,” he said. “I do not want Her Majesty’s Prison in St. Kitts and Nevis to be the first to have any COVID-19 cases and so we are trying our best at the prison.”
He commended his staff for their efforts in helping to keep inmates safe. The commissioner also used the occasion to commend the inmates for their understanding concerning the virus, noting that “they feel safe inside the prison at this time. They are thankful for the precautions that were put in place to keep them safe,” he added.
According to Commissioner James, Her Majesty’s Prison remains in lock-down mode until the green light is given by the NEOC indicating when it is safe to reopen. Therefore, no visits are allowed.