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Bahamas: High-risk inmates at BDOC being considered for early release

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Prerogative of Mercy committee has recommended that 57 inmates for high-risk of contracting COVID-19 at the Bahamas Department of Corrections be released early.

Minister of National Security Marvine Dames made the announcement yesterday during a press conference on his ministry’s work during the local spread of COVID-19 which has spanned nearly eight months.

Dames noted that the international agencies, including UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime), WHO (World Health Organization), UNAIDS (United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS) and OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) have jointly encouraged institutions of detention around the world to consider the release of inmates as COVID-19 undermines hygiene, health and safety due to social distancing limitations.

“Our ministry through the Prerogative Board of Mercy Committee, in light of the current pandemic, have been reviewing inmates’ files who would be considered high-risk for contracting the virus,” he said.

“That would include the elderly; comorbidity; persons who have completed more than half of their sentences with good behaviour; and persons sentenced for minor, non-violent offences that don’t compromise public safety.

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