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Antigua and Barbuda: Prisoners clamour for early release amid Covid outbreak and overcrowding

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By Shermain Bique-Charles

Antigua and Barbuda (Antigua Observer) – Inmates on remand at His Majesty’s Prison are using the current Covid-19 outbreak there to clamour for their early release.

Newly-installed Superintendent of Prisons, Colonel Trevor Pennyfeather, said while the requests will not be “thrown out”, any such appeal must be “carefully” made and considered.

“Most of the inmates are pushing to be released early because the prison has some measure of overcrowding and I guess that’s their motivation.

“It is not something that I am going to throw out, but obviously it is something that will have to take some serious discussion and dialogue at the highest level,” he told Observer.

The request is mainly coming from prisoners who are due to be released within two years.

“It is mainly among those serving significant sentences. Some of them are scheduled to be released within two years, a year and a half, and even 18 months. So, they are asking whether or not consideration would be given for their early release,” he explained.

Pennyfeather said the requests were made verbally and nothing has yet been officially presented to the authorities.

He said however should any formal request be made, in light of the situation at the prison, it would have to go through the proper channels.

Read more.

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