Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health and Justice spokesperson
Risdon Prison is overcrowded and understaffed, and now they are battling mass outbreaks of Coronavirus and staff absences. This is a combustible, inhumane situation and Corrections Minister Archer needs to release low risk inmates to relieve the pressure in the prison.
Inmates have long been the silent victims of the pandemic, with visitations from loved ones cut back and now ceased all together as the prison struggles to contain a surge in cases among staff and inmates.
The Greens are calling for the release of vulnerable, low risk prisoners on compassionate grounds.
There is a strong epidemiological case for this to happen immediately, to curb the spread of the virus and to relieve pressure on staff.
With 16 staff testing positive in recent days this will become a full blown crisis by week‘s end. Corrections Minister Elise Archer needs to act decisively and with compassion. She must, today, seek health advice and work with unions collaboratively.
This pandemic is not over, despite the casual ‘let it rip’ approach of the Liberal Government.
The Greens will support any and all measures that see vulnerable Tasmanians protected. We call on the new Premier and Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff to mobilise his department and spur his Ministers into action.