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Prisons Suspend Facing, Family Reunions and Prison Permits Due to Coronavirus

Posted: Friday November 6 2020 19:15

The General Secretariat of Penitentiary Establishments has decided to suspend permits and special communications, such as vis à vis and family meetings, in all prisons, except the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, given the high incidence of the coronavirus in almost the whole country.

As indicated by this body, a letter was sent to all centers under the general administration of the State (all in Catalonia) with the new measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID among the prison population, considered as a group at high risk and prison workers.

A team from the General Secretariat is monitoring the situation on a daily basis and, at the end of its last meeting, during which the last document from the Center for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies (CCAES) on the incidence of the coronavirus was analyzed, decided to implement a series of measures. Thus, the special communications of prisoners, that is, family, intimate and coexistence communications, are suppressed.

Ordinary communications, per call booth, are also limited to 50%, with a maximum of two callers per inmate. The schedule will be extended to every day of the week, with the obligation to disinfect the cabins after each communication shift.

In addition, exit permits and scheduled outings for inmates are suspended. The measures will enter into force on Monday, last for three weeks and will affect all centers except those in the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, although in the latter autonomous community, the Mallorca prison also keeps special communications suspended.

In the case of Ourense prison, the suspension of ordinary communications is also in addition to the previous measures. He is not getting up for the moment, and although the situation does not recommend it, the total closure of the prisons of Madrid V, Soto del Real, and León. In these countries, in addition to the above measures, ordinary communications are suspended and access to the prison is not allowed to anyone outside the administration whose work is not essential.

All of these decisions, which are brought to the attention of the prison surveillance courts, are part of the Rapid Response Plan in a COVID-19 pandemic control scenario, agreed at the Interterritorial Health Council on July 16, 2020..

To ease the restrictions, the number of telephone calls to which detainees are entitled has been increased and the video call system has been strengthened. From December, a booth system will begin to operate when testing to make video calls. These booths will also allow you to send voice messages and collect payment. It is expected that throughout 2021, the video booth system will be implemented in all centers under the central administration.

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