Prison personnel: At risk group for COVID-19
Close to 11 million prisoners worldwide, as well as the officers who are charged with ensuring their safe, secure and humane custody, must not be forgotten during the COVID-19 pandemic. Countries should recognize the particular risks which COVID-19 poses to confined populations for which physical distancing is not a possibility. This is all the more the case in light of the weaker health profile of prison populations. COVID-19 prevention and control mechanisms in prisons that are evidence-based are needed urgently, and should be implemented in full compliance with United Nations Minimum Standards for the Treatment of Prisoners in order to protect people in and outside of prison. In doing so, the State must also ensure that more attention is paid to marginalized groups in prisons who are particularly at risk of infection, in particular when they live close together, with a high potential for transmission. Places of deprivation of liberty undoubtedly constitute high-risk environments for those who live and work there.