-As RAL Alarms; Says Prisons Lack Ebola Prevention Materials.
Rescue Alternatives Liberia (RAL) says it attention has been drawn to the appalling situation in these difficult times with the Bureau of Correction and Rehabilitation which is responsible to provide services to inmates throughout the country.
According to the civil society group, the lives of detainees, and Correction Officers who interact with both detainees or prisoners and visitors on a daily bases are at risks as detention centers, especially the Monrovia Central Prison currently lacked basic Ebola prevention materials to stop the spread of the virus in the prisons.
This, RAL noted was seen at the Monrovia Central Prison where corrections officers who are contending with over 900 inmates have no protective equipments and logistical support.
In a statement addressed to the Ministry of Justice and the Ebola Task Force dated on August 26, 2014, the group also said the MCP lacks testing gears to test those detainees who are set free before getting into the communities and at the same time, testing incoming inmates before joining their colleagues.
“The unbearable condition in the Monrovia Central Prison (MCP) poses high risks on the lives of both correction officers and inmates as government is doing little or nothing to find remedy to the ugly situation,” RAL said.
The Rescue Alternatives Liberia underscored the need for an effective way of preventing the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in prisons, stressing the need for the Bureau of Correction and Rehabilitation to be included on the Ebola Task Force committee in order to effectively respond to any Ebola case in prison centers in the country.
The human rights group called on the Ministry of Justice and Ebola Task Force to establish testing centers in prison centers in order to reduce the spread of any outbreak of the virus in the country’s prison sector and provide logistical support for correction officers.
RAL is of the philosophy that any outbreak of Ebola in the prisons will pose uncontrollable increase of deaths of prisons workers, prisoners and community residents and unlash hardened criminals in the society, meaning increase in crimes in Monrovia and its environs.
RAL is an anti-torture, prison reform and death penalty abolition campaigner, a member of several national and international networks including the Liberia Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (LICHRD), West Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (WAHRDN), and International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) and World Coalition against the Death Penalty (WCADP), among others.