The Scottish Government’s Justice Secretary, Humza Yousaf, yesterday confirmed to the Scottish Parliament that the “vast majority of prisoners self-isolating are in HMP Addiewell”.
The Justice Secretary continued to indicate that the majority of those self-isolating in HMP Addiewell were doing so “as a precautionary measure”.
This information comes as Mr Yousaf was questioned by MSPs about whether safe social distancing was being practiced in Scotland’s prisons. Additional concerns were raised about the lack of testing for prisoners and PPE for prison staff.
Labour MSP, Neil Findlay MSP said:
“It is of great concern that it appears more prisoners are self-isolating in HMP Addiewell than in any other prison in Scotland.
This must be extremely worrying and unsettling for prisonerss and staff alike.
“We know that prisons are overcrowded and prisoners are often placed in cramped conditions. The Justice Secretary must ensure that staff and prisoners in HMP Addiewell are protected and they have the appropriate PPE.
“Mr Yousaf should also act on the advice of the World Health Organisation, to test every prisoner suspected of having COVID-19, so that they can trace the virus and isolate the individuals affected.