The DGAPR Announces a Temporary Ban on the Transfer of Prisoners to the Courts

The General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation (DGAPR) has taken the decision to ban the transfer of detainees, with a minimum duration of at least one, to the different courts across the Kingdom and to coordinate with the competent judicial authority on the holding of hearings at a distance, in the context of reinforcing efforts to control and prevent possible sources of transmission of the virus Covid-19 to the prison community.

In a statement, the DGAPR indicated that it had also prohibit the transfer of inmates to public hospitals for the time being, with the exception of extreme emergencies, in addition, it had decided to reinforce prison facilities by medical teams under the Ministry of Health and by setting up long-distance specialized medical consultations.

Both of these decisions were made as a result of developments in some prison establishments in addition to the results of recent laboratory tests which showed that some inmates and officials have been infected with the virus, the statement said, adding that although such cases are small in proportion to the total number of inmates and officials, this is considered to be a sign that more efforts are needed to control the possible sources of transmission of the disease to the prison environment, in particular the release of inmates to courts and hospitals.

However, in spite of the preventive efforts to prevent the spread of the virus in correctional facilities along with the judicial authorities’ ongoing efforts to rationalize pre-trial detention and decrease the number of inmates to be brought before the courts, it has been demonstrated that this remains far from being sufficient to keep these facilities free from the transmission of the disease, considering the number of prisoners who have been brought before the courts, the same source continued.

DGAPR’s efforts to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in prison establishments include the suspension of family visits, the discontinuation of reintegration activities carried out collectively in the various prison establishments and the enforcement of sanitary containment for officials and all employees in the prison environment, as stated in the statement.

Moreover, the DGAPR concluded that efforts have also included the continuous and regular sterilization of prison facilities, the delivery of medical supplies and hygiene products and the placement of isolated wings to house new detainees and quarantine them for 14 days and other procedures.

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