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Short Update: Open Society Justice Initiative publishes legal brief on access to health care in prisons during the pandemic

FairTrialsAdmin - July 15, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, prison conditions

The Open Society Justice Initiative published a legal brief detailing the measures states should take to protect the lives and health of prisoners during the COVID-19 pandemic. The brief compiles international and regional standards and norms to assist legal practitioners in advocating and litigating the right of prisoners to access health care in prison.  

Applying a public health perspective to the existing standards and in light of policy and guidance provided by the WHO and other public health authorities, the brief details specific measures that the Justice Initiative considers States should implement -­ and that prisoners’ advocates should fight for - ­­during the COVID-19 crisis, in particular:  

  • Specific preventive measures that states should immediately adopt, including providing incarcerated people, staff, and visitors with information about the virus that allows them to protect themselves, the provision of adequate hygiene and cleaning products and personal protective equipment, and the implementation of wide-spread testing. 

  • Guidelines on the provision of treatment and medication. 

  • Guidelines on physical distancing and medical isolation, including how to manage contact with the outside world and ensure access to lawyers during the pandemic. 

  • The duty to properly and independently investigate cases of death in prison. 

  • The increased need for states to be more transparent in disclosing measures taken to address the pandemic. 

We publish information as it is reported to us. If you would like to make us aware of an inaccuracy or send us more  information  please email us at [email protected].  

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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