OMBUDSMAN: COVID-19 CASES IN FEDERAL PRISONS MORE THAN DOUBLE DURING 2ND WAVE
Feb 23, 2021
By Bob Komsic
Canada’s prison advocate’s calling for alternatives to imprisonment in a just released report that shows the number of COVID-19 cases more than doubled in the second wave.
Ombudsman Ivan Zinger says cases climbed to 880 at more than a dozen federal facilities between last November and February 1.
There were 361 cases at six institutions in the first wave.
Zinger adds 7-in-10 of second wave cases happened at two biggest, oldest prisons; Saskatchewan Penitentiary and Manitoba’s Stony Mountain Institution, leaving Indigenous inmates disproportionately affected.
The correctional investigator is calling on Ottawa to prioritize early released of older inmates and to consider closure of aging, costly facilities in favour of a more community-based approach to corrections.
The Correctional Service of Canada says it’s inoculated approximately 600 older and medically compromised prisoners,and plans to start immunizing the rest of its 12,500 inmates this spring.