The New York Times has reported that the 13 top COVID-19 hotspots in the United States have been in prisons and jails, with at least 713 deaths reported as a result of the virus.
The Victorian Government’s failure to take preventative action in prisons has led to mounting concern that this statistic could soon be mirrored in Australia.
There are urgent calls to decrease the number of low-risk people in detention in order to prevent the rapid spread of disease. With four detention facilities in VIC reporting cases of COVID-19, growing concern surrounds the potential of inhumane holding and treatment of inmates, especially those in youth detention.
“The Victorian Government has an urgent lesson to learn: the health of people in custody is inextricably linked to the health of all Victorians during this pandemic.”