Elise Archer,Minister for Corrections
Ella Haddad’s disgraceful media release is an insult to our Tasmania Prison Service (TPS) staff who are working hard to manage COVID-19 in TPS facilities.
Just like every workplace in Tasmania, the TPS has a detailed COVID-19 Safety Plan in place, as well as Outbreak Management Plans for each facility, and is actively implementing these.
It is completely irresponsible to claim lives are being put at risk, and Ms Haddad should apologise to hard working TPS staff and to the families of prisoners for such reckless scaremongering.
Affected prisoners are isolating within TPS facilities in line with the TPS’s COVID Management Plans, and affected facilities are locked down, with access strictly limited to essential services only.
I find it staggering that Ms Haddad is not aware of the TPS plans that have been in place and developed since the outbreak of COVID-19.
While the lock downs are a necessary part of the TPS’s Management Plans to ensure any outbreak is restricted and controlled as quickly as possible, affected prisoners have been provided with a range of materials, tailored to their personal interests, to help them feel engaged and to pass time during the period of COVID-19 isolation.
Additionally, a number of measures have been put in place to reduce and manage the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks spreading within TPS facilities.
This includes the temporary cessation of in-person visits, establishing dedicated isolation facilities within prisons to allow offenders who are either infected, or close contacts to isolate as required.
Pleasingly, the number of active cases has been dropping, with 68 active cases currently, dropping by 48 in one day, as a number of prisoners have already recovered from their infections and been released from isolation, which shows our plans are working.
Ms Haddad can scaremonger and attack our TPS staff, but what is her alternative plan? Or does she support the Greens’ policy to let offenders out of prison early, before their sentence has expired?
Unlike Ms Haddad, we will continue to manage COVID-19 in TPS facilities sensibly and responsibly as we continue to progress to living with COVID-19.