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Basic needs not being met at COVID-19-afflicted prison in Mission: wife of inmate

Citynews 1130 Vancouver

Last Updated Apr 15, 2020 at 3:48 pm PDT

FILE - Patches are seen on the arm and shoulder of a corrections officer in the segregation unit at the Fraser Valley Institution for Women during a media tour, in Abbotsford, B.C., on Thursday October 26, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Summary

She asks that inmates near end of their sentences be released

Inmates are not getting three meals a day, as they should, she adds

So far, 41 inmates, six guards have tested positive for novel coronavirus

MISSION (NEWS 1130) — Inmates at a Mission prison under lockdown due to COVID-19 are going hungry and the wife of one man is pleading for those at the end of their sentences to be released or moved for their own safety.

The federal prison in Mission is currently under lockdown after an outbreak of COVID-19.

To date, 41 inmates at the federal prison in Mission have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, as have at least six correctional officers who work there.

Arron West, whose husband Jamie is an inmate at the Mission Institution, said the situation there is dire.

She said her husband told her Monday inmates are not getting three meals a day, as they should.

“He never begs and he was pleading with me to get in touch with somebody,” she added.

If officials are saying inmates are getting meals regularly, West said that is not true.

“I’ve heard from many other wives and families of loved ones inside that their loved one is saying that that’s not true.”

To relieve the pressure on staff, West is calling on the institution to release inmates who are near the end of their sentences and move those who can be to other locations.

The Union of Canadian Correctional Officers said Monday more safety measures, such as masks and restricting movement, need to be in place at the Mission Institution to ensure the safety of its members, and inmates.

Mission has more COVID-19 infections than any other federal prison, according to Correctional Service Canada.

Calls to Mission Institution management for comment were not returned.