COVID-19 prisoners to be sent to one prison

Minister of State for Prison Management and Prisoner Rehabilitation Lohan Ratwatte has proposed that prisoners infected with COVID-19 be sent to one prison in order to make it easier for authorities to provide proper healthcare.

The Minister of State has emphasized that it is appropriate to build and prepare the Mahara Prison for this purpose.

The Ministry of Prison Management and Prisoner Rehabilitation also plans to increase the number of daily PCRs in all prisons and expedite them with the assistance of the Army.

Ratwatte chaired a meeting yesterday afternoon to discuss COVID-19 situation in prisons. Army Commander Lt.Gen. Shavendra Silva, Inspector General of Police C.D. Wickramaratne, Director General of Health Asela Gunawardena, Commissioner General of Prisons Thushara Upuldeniya and Secretary to the Ministry of State Chintamani Karunaratne attended the discussion. Detainees who could be released for minor offenses should be sent to PCR as soon as possible.

State Minister Ratwatte also suggested that after conducting investigations and directing them to a formal quarantine process, they should be reintegrated into society and that mental health programs and lectures should be organized during the quarantine period.

Eight thousand inmates arrested for consuming drugs will be directed to be rehabilitated within 10 days on the instructions of the Attorney General and the Ministry of Justice with the intervention of the Police and the Prisons Department.

After the tests it was decided at this meeting to use suitable places including the Kandakadu Rehabilitation Center and the Bogambara Prison premises for this purpose and to carry out such rehabilitation activities with the assistance of the Army.

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