BC Civil Liberties Association joins national prisoner rights organizations in calling on federal authorities to take urgent action to protect incarcerated people against COVID-19. This includes prioritizing incarcerated people for vaccinations, as well as immediate decarceration and depopulation of prisons.
Since December 2020, we have seen more COVID-19 cases inside prisons than in the preceding eight months and infection rates for prisoners are staggeringly higher than the infection rate in Canada. It is evident that whatever actions that have been taken thus far to protect prisoners, staff, and surrounding communities have been insufficient. We need to protect the health and lives of prisoners– because it is what is legally obligated and because it is right.