62 Regina inmates have COVID-19, family alleges inadequate medical care
REGINA -- A Saskatchewan woman is worried about the well being of all inmates in the Regina Correctional Centre, where her son, along with 61 other inmates and 12 staff, have tested positive for COVID-19.
Sylvia McKay-Tuckanow is speaking out about her son’s wellbeing and treatment.
“I’m worried about his health and his mental health plus protocols aren’t being followed through,” McKay-Tuckanow said.
McKay-Tuckanow, and her son's girlfriend, Erika Bellegarde, didn’t want their loved ones name released because they are worried about potential repercussions he may face for them speaking out.
McKay-Tuckanow and Bellegarde said inmates with COVID-19 in the Regina Correctional Centre have limited access to medical care, proper COVID-19 policies are not being followed and they have been limited to two meals a day.
“With breakfast taken away, the canteen taken away, their mini kitchen taken away, these are men, they're hungry and they're sick,” Bellegarde said. “Which makes it a whole lot harder trying to fight off COVID and being hungry.”
Bellegarde said she wants to see better treatment for inmates because they are people too.
“They're human,” Bellegarde said. “I feel like they're not getting treated properly and they have the right to get treated properly.
Both women are among dozens of other family members who are organizing a protest outside Regina Correctional Centre for Tuesday morning. The families are calling for improved medical care and more COVID-19 protocols to be put in place inside the facility.
The Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety said it has taken proper precautions with public health officials to protect inmates and staff.
“In light of COVID-19, Corrections is also providing offenders with an additional 10-minute free call to ensure they can stay in contact with family and friends,” the Ministry said in a statement to CTV News. “Inmates are also able to contact chaplains and Elders by phone in lieu of face-to-face meetings. These phone calls are free, and are considered privileged phone calls.”