Prison visits replaced with video calls amid COVID-19

—Public Telecommunications Ministry donates electronic tablets to Prisons

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Visits to Guyana’s prisons have been replaced with video calls amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Minister of Public Telecommunications Catherine Hughes handing over the electronic tablets to Director of Prisons Gladwin Samuels

Via a press statement, Director of Prisons Gladwin Samuels disclosed that this measure would be implemented following a donation of 30 electronic tablets by the Ministry of Public Telecommunications.

Samuels noted that visits were suspended at all prisons throughout the country to protect the staff and inmates from the spread of COVID-19.

The tablets will allow prisoners to contact family members via video conferencing using the free government Wi-Fi that is already in place at the penitentiaries.

“The calls will be made via the Google Hangout application through the means of a cellular phone, iPad, tablet or computer with a camera and a microphone powered by an internet connection,” Samuels stated.

Only family members and attorneys-at-law representing inmates will be allowed to utilise this service.

They will be required to send a request by email to the location where the prisoner is housed. This would then be processed by an officer assigned to oversee the calls.

Requests can be made to the following prisons.

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Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. We urge citizens to practice good hygiene and social or physical distancing also adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health, Guyana.