Trinidad PM: Govt considering releasing non-violent inmates from prison

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Trinidad PM: Govt considering releasing non-violent inmates from prison
Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Keith Rowley
Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Keith Rowley

(TRINIDAD NEWSDAY) – The Prime Minister consideration is being given to the possibility of releasing non-violent offenders from prison to reduce overcrowding at these institutions and hence minimise the spread of the coronavirus.

Speaking at a media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, on Wednesday, Dr Rowley said in such a time of crisis it was important for society to have some understanding on the risks associated with the transmission of the disease, citing prisons as one of the vulnerable areas where the virus could spread.

“Today I have been in touch with the Attorney General who has been in touch with the Judiciary and work is progressing with a view to determine what we can do to intervene in the prisons, to have people who are there on the basis of not having been able to make bail, persons who are not violent or a danger to see if we can improve the conditions by reducing overcrowding because that’s a vulnerable area.

“For prisoners who have been convicted and are on appeal, the population will understand that if there are things we can do there with the broadest sense of understanding, get those people out of there and I trust we can minimise our exposure there for certain categories of the incarcerated so that will be another step.”

Dr Rowley said he expected the Attorney General and the Judiciary would have come to a decision on what should be done on the release of non-violent offenders by the end of the day.

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