The variety of folks behind bars on P.E.I. has returned to pre-pandemic ranges, however restrictions stay in place inside corrections amenities with the potential for vaccinations for COVID-19 going down in provincial jails within the close to future.
The return to regular started final 12 months, in line with newly launched figures from Statistics Canada.
In September, 115 adults had been in custody in P.E.I., in line with Statistics Canada. The numbers hit a low of 80 final April, within the preliminary weeks of the sweeping well being restrictions that rolled out throughout Canada and far of the world, in response to the pandemic. The province’s jail inhabitants in February of final 12 months, earlier than COVID-19 precautions started, was 114.
Vaccines could be administered in jails coming weeks, in line with the P.E.I. justice officers, citing “important threat of transmission.”
“Like different congregate dwelling environments … it’s the division’s understanding that Public Well being will probably be offering vaccines to correctional amenities within the subsequent couple of weeks as a part of their bigger vaccine rollout,” in line with a written assertion from the Division of Justice.
Newly arrived inmates proceed to be positioned in self-isolation upon arrival, in line with the P.E.I. Division of Justice. They’re examined for COVID-19 on the primary and on the seventh day of self-isolation, and enter the overall jail inhabitants after seven days if checks are unfavorable and no signs are current.
The variety of folks in custody fluctuates every day, however P.E.I. continues to be experiencing “excessive however manageable numbers,” in line with the justice division. On Monday, 93 folks had been in custody.
Weekends in jail, which permit offenders to maintain their weekday jobs or present little one care, stay unavailable as a sentencing choice.
Some feminine offenders moved to youth facility
To create extra space, some feminine offenders have been moved to the province’s facility for younger offenders.
Final month, the province started to deal with some ladies within the Youth Centre in Summerside, somewhat than the Provincial Correctional Centre in Charlottetown.
One of many Youth Centre’s two eight-bed items is now used to deal with feminine adults “as a brief measure to alleviate capability strain,” in line with the province. As of March 10, there have been 4 ladies within the youth facility.
The ladies are “low threat feminine offenders,” in line with the province, with “zero contact” between younger offenders and grownup females housed within the facility.
On the Island’s major jail in Charlottetown, a brand new 34-bed feminine wing stays on schedule for completion in the summertime of 2022.
Advocates for offenders — in addition to the union representing corrections officers — are taking the modifications in stride.
Workers on the John Howard Society say they haven’t been permitted inside provincial jails at instances over the previous 12 months, as a consequence of COVID-19 precautions, however anticipate a return to larger entry as restrictions ease.
The union that represents corrections officers says it has heard no issues from members.
Extra from CBC P.E.I.