The Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety stated in an email to Global Regina there are a total of 125 positive COVID-19 cases in provincial correctional institutions.
“Pandemic activity in correctional centers is a reflection of what is happening in the larger Saskatchewan community,” stated the province. “As cases rise in the community, we expect we will see additional cases in our correctional facilities.”
As of Jan. 13, 2022, the Saskatoon Correctional Centre currently has 87 active COVID-19 cases, the Prince Albert Correctional Centre has 34 active cases and Regina Correctional Centre has two active cases. All cases reported involve inmates at the provincial institutions.
The numbers for staff employed at the provincial institutions differ. The Saskatoon Correctional Centre currently has 32 active COVID-19 cases, the Prince Albert Correctional Centre has 16 active cases and Regina Correctional Centre has four active cases.
The CEO of the John Howard Society of Saskatchewan says they hear concerns from inmates and their families when it comes to those who are infected with COVID-19.
“The consistent thing is people are generally nervous and afraid both the prisoners we hear from and also the families that don’t know what’s going on and how people are getting treated,” said Shawn Fraser.
“Our focus is on the prisoners. We’ve also heard those same issues from the guards. It’s not always a safe working environment for people.”
The Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety stated that corrections has maintained a wide variety of measures to address the pandemic.
Recently, they have implemented additional measures in Saskatchewan correctional facilities such as suspending in-person visits, requiring all staff and contractors to double-mask with a surgical mask while working in a correctional centre, and requiring all inmates to double-mask with a surgical/procedural mask when outside their cells.
Staff are encouraged to use take-home rapid test kits.
The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) stated to Global Regina there is only one active COVID-19 case at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary. CSC confirms there are currently no active cases at any other federal correctional institution — the Regional Psychiatric Centre, Willow Cree Healing Lodge or Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge.
Managing COVID-19 in correctional facilities
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