The conditions at B.C.’s Mission Institution — the site of the largest COVID-19 outbreak at a federal institution in the country — are far worse than the Correctional Service of Canada is saying, according to a B.C. lawyer who advocates for prisoners.
Fifty-four inmates in Mission’s medium-security unit were confirmed to have the virus as of Wednesday, according to the latest numbers on the CSC’s website. One of the inmates has died, becoming Canada’s first federal inmate to pass away due to COVID-19.
But Jennifer Metcalfe, the executive director at Prisoners’ Legal Services in Burnaby, told Global News that clients incarcerated at the prison have told her organization that the number of cases is likely higher.
“[We’re hearing about] people who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 who aren’t being tested,” she said. “The whole situation is just totally out of control.”
Inmates who have already tested positive and been placed in isolation aren’t being given soap or cleaning supplies, Metcalfe said.
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“They’re only receiving two meals a day. They’re not able to supplement their meals with canteen items that they buy on their own usually,” she said.
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