Adrian Wyld/ The Canadian Press
As the first known outbreak of COVID-19 in a Canadian prison was announced on Monday, the country’s biggest lawyers’ group called on the federal government to identify inmates who can be safely managed in the community and release them.
Two inmates, and nine staff members at the maximum-security Port-Cartier Institution in Quebec have tested positive for COVID-19, the federal corrections service said on Monday. The inmates are being medically isolated within the prison, and the staff members are isolated at home.
At the same time, the Canadian Bar Association, representing 36,000 members of the legal community, added its voice to a rising chorus of prisoner advocacy groups urging the federal government to “consider releasing those who can be safely released” from prisons and immigration facilities.
Inmates, too, are pleading for release, whether they are in federal or provincial custody.