Tuesday the 11th of August

...to the ends of the earth

"By means of the internet, the Christian message can reach 'to the ends of the earth'" (Acts 1:8) Pope Francis, Message for World Communications Day, 2014

Brazilian Church agency demands prisoners’ release to contain Covid-19

The Prison Pastoral, an organisation linked to the Brazilian bishops’ conference, has demanded the release of prisoners as part of efforts to contain the expansion of Covid-19 among incarcerated Brazilians.

‘If the virus spreads through Brazilian prisons, the consequences will be disastrous. Eighty per cent of coronavirus cases have mild symptoms, such as the flu; however, prisoners and inmates have very low immunity due to the degrading conditions in prison,’ pastoral officials wrote in an open letter in mid-March.

Pastoral officials said they fear Covid-19 among prisoners would be similar to rates of tuberculosis, which, they said, is 30 times higher in prisons than in the general population.

According to the latest data from the Ministry of Justice, 62 per cent of deaths of inmates in Brazilian prisons are caused by diseases such as HIV, syphilis and tuberculosis.

Picture: A police officer checks inmates in the central penitentiary in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on 28th August 2018. The Prison Pastoral, an organisation linked to the Brazilian bishops’ conference, has demanded the release of prisoners as part of efforts to contain the expansion of Covid-19 among incarcerated Brazilians. (CNS photo/Diego Vara, Reuters).