Human Rights advocate Mary Francis has expressed concern over complaints from Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF) inmates about poor nutrition at the facility.
“They say the nutrition is very poor at the facility, that they’re just being fed with rice and chow mein over the past few weeks,” Francis said.
She told St Lucia Times she did not know whether COVID-19 had impacted the availability of funds.
But the Coordinator of the National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights asserted that the state could not take away someone’s liberty for committing an offence and then keep the individual locked up and not feed them properly.
“I think it is the duty of the state to ensure they get some form of protein and some form of nutritious food. They are complaining. Some of them are sick and need medication and that medication is not available for them in the medical ward,” the outspoken Attorney at Law declared.
As a result, Francis said she intends to write to Home Affairs Minister Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte.
However, an official who spoke on condition of anonymity rejected assertions that inmates at the BCF receive poor nutrition.
“The BCF may be deficient in other areas, but not that one,” the official explained.
“It’s just like at your own home, sometimes the food may not be to your liking and if an inmate feels he does not like the food, he will complain.”
The official told St Lucia Times that the BCF has to provide some 500 inmates with meals three times a day and must legally ensure that the food is up to standard.
In addition, the official observed that some inmates are on a special diet, and the facility must also cater to their needs.