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First inmate released from Dodds after outbreak

First inmate released from Dodds after outbreak
Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds (FILE)

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The first inmate to come out of HMP Dodds since COVID-19 struck the prison three weeks ago has described the situation there as “bare sufferation”.

The woman, who served five years and 41 days for financial crimes, was due to be released on January 12. However, like the other 842 inmates, she was placed under lockdown from December 31 as Government instituted a “no one in, no one out” policy.

Last week, Superintendent of Prisons Lieutenant Colonel John Nurse said there were 20 inmates due to be released by the end of this month.

Yesterday morning, much to the woman’s surprise, she was told by a prison officer to pack her clothes and say goodbye to her fellow inmates.

Speaking to the DAILY NATION from her St Philip home via telephone, the woman said she had retained Queen’s Counsel Michael Lashley because she believed she was treated inhumanely.
She charged that prison authorities refused to tell them what was going on and how many inmates had contracted the virus.

“They did not tell us nothing. We looked outside and we see the men in black standing guard so we thought someone had dropped off a parcel with an illegal substance, or we thought one of the inmates or officers had dropped down dead.
“But then they tell we they have three admissions and we on lockdown. Then later in the night they wake us up and say, ‘Everybody put on wunna clothes and put something to cover wunna face and come’. When they say so, I knew they had corona in the jail.”

She said they were immediately taken to a room for a COVID-19 test, then put back under lockdown.

She described the past three weeks as a horrible experience even though the virus did not infect the female prison.

The woman revealed that they found out how rapidly the virus was spreading among the inmates through prisoners calling their families or going on social media.

“They got everybody believing the prison running good but up there is ‘sufferation’. I gine tell people who got family in there to go and check fuh wunna family and don’t believe everything [they hear] when they call up there.” (MB)