The Caribbean Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) has renewed its call for the government, through the office of the Attorney General, to deal with a potential upsurge in covid19 cases in prison.
A media release from the prison service on Saturday reported that 68 inmates of the Golden Grove Maximum Security Prison had tested positive for the virus.
In a media release issued on Monday, the CCHR said sanitisation and mask-wearing policies behind bars were not enough to curb increasing numbers of infections, as overcrowding continues.
The release also blasted the government's failure to release non-violent offenders, as promised seven months ago.
"This is unacceptable. The CCHR strongly urges the government to take the necessary steps to protect the health of the prison population and the wider community and follow through with their proposed measures to minimise the threat of covid19 in the prisons.
"It is impossible to social distance in overcrowded prisons and places not just the prison population at risk but also the wider community because prisons do not operate in isolation.
"The overcrowding in the prisons and the inhumane conditions are ideal conditions for a widespread outbreak of covid19. Remand remains a space that is particularly worrying given reports of up to eight persons being held in one cell."
The CCHR reminded the public that while people remain incarcerated the State assumes a duty of care and is responsible for their health and well-being.
The release also said a prisoner's right to health and life is not diminished during his or her imprisonment.