Alert levels in Male', Hulhumale' prisons reduced

Male' Prison. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Maldives Correctional Services has moved to reduce alert levels in Male’ and Hulhumale’ prisons, which were imposed in light of COVID-19 in the Maldives.

A policy regarding prison operations was announced after the government moved to provide some easements to the restrictive measures in place across the country last week. 

The policy was implemented on Monday in prisons other than Male’ and Hulhumale’.

Alert levels for prisons in Male’ and Hulhumale’ were reduced today, said Commissioner of Prisons Ahmed Mohamed Fulhu.

The Commissioner noted that prison security officers had maintained duty at the prisons for almost 50 consecutive days.

The policy formed by the Maldives Correctional Services reads that the easements would be implemented in the prisons under stages. The first phase would be commenced when the lockdown order on the capital expires or easements are introduced.

The second phase would be implemented once inter-island travel is permitted. The third and final phase would be implemented when the state of public health emergency imposed in the country was lifted. 

The first phase would allow suspended operations inside the prisons to recommence while the second phase would allow operations outside the prisons to recommence. The third phase would allow further easements.

Easements introduced during the first phase are:

  • End of alert levels in Maafushi prison and Asseyri prison in Himmafushi.
  • Officers and employees will be allowed to return home after duty.
  • Inmates performing allowance work will be provided masks and allowed to recommence work.
  • Rehabilitation programs to be recommenced for inmates.
  • Conjugal visits to be recommenced.

The alert levels could be reverted if the situation in any prison deteriorates. Steps to ensure the safety of inmates would still be conducted as peer prior practice.

Inmates and officers are to be checked for symptoms of the virus on a daily basis and disinfection work as well as clean hygiene would practices would be conducted inside prisons. Complaints from inmates and detainees will also be permitted via email. 

Random sampling conducted at prisons for the virus has so far yielded no positive cases.