News In Corrections “The Onset Of COVID-19”
Authored by: Bahamas Department of Correctional Services
Source: Bahamas Department of Correctional Services
Date: May 30, 2021

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike no other the world has experienced. Hence, the magnitude and complexity of the current pandemic have forced the Department to make critical decisions that are consequential to the well being of Officers and inmates.

Therefore, the Department has implemented the following Covid-19 measures to control and contain the virus with the establishment of the following safety protocols:

     1.     Protocol One: Establishment of a Health and Safety Committee

  1. Protocol Two: Facilitate educational sessions on COVID-19
  1. Protocol Three: Suspension of all activities and services
  1. Protocol  Four:  New  and  immediate  medical  screening  for staff  and inmates
  2. Protocol Five: Supplied all areas with additional cleaning supplies
  1. Protocol  Six:  Purchasing  of  emergency  medical,  food,  and  cleaning supplies
  2. Protocol Seven: Contingency plan for Suspected cases of COVID-19


 

“OPERATING IN A COVID-ENVIRONMENT”

 

Covid-19 forced the Department of Corrections to suspend all inmate services and activities on March 16, 2020, due to the safety concerns of Officers and inmates.

 

Realizing that Covid-19 will be here for a while, and the institution has to adjust, BDCS devised a re-opening strategy that will be incrementally executed through the following phases listed below which includes:

 

Phase one - was the re-establishment of commissary services that resumed on June 22, to members of the public. However, restrictions were placed on the number of persons permitted to conduct business daily.

Phase two - was the independence visits that resumed on July 7th and 8th for sentenced and remanded inmates, respectively with the imposition of stringent COVID-19 measures.

Phase three - will be the resumption of regular visitations when it is safe to do so.

 

Phase four - will be the intake of inmates’ property when it is safe to do so. Phase five - will be the resumption of worship services when it is safe to do so. Phase six - will be the resumption of all other services and inmate programmes.

 

 

COMMUNICATING IN A COVID ENVIRONMENT

 

The Department of Corrections fully understands the importance of communication between inmates and loved ones. Therefore, with the temporary suspension  of  visitation  due  to  the  imposition  of  Covid-19  restrictions;  the


 

Department    is   utilizing    the   Inmates’  Phone  System   to   bridge    a   line   of communication between inmates and their loved ones.

 

Outside of this avenue, concerns or questions regarding inmates can be directed to the Public Affairs Unit at 364-9875 or the Commissioner’s Officer at 364-9802.