Prisoners at high risk of contracting coronavirus in Tasmania are being denied access to hand sanitiser, a prominent Barrister and advocate claims.
Tasmanian Prisoners Legal Service chairman Greg Barns made the claim after the state government announced it would temporarily suspend personal prison visits because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Coronavirus: All the latest updates on COVID-19 for Tasmania
"Simply blocking visits makes a bad situation worse, it will increase the likelihood of self-harm," Mr Barns said.
"You've got a position where prison regulations say that sanitiser is contraband and therefore not available. You couldn't think of a higher risk environment."
Mr Barns again called on the government to release high-risk elderly prisoners, those who have serious health conditions, non-violent offenders and those on remand who have not been in prison before.
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It is understood additional health and sanitary provisions - such as soap - were provided to prisoners and sanitiser had been used for illicit purposes in the past.
Attorney-General Elise Archer said the safety, security and health of staff, prisoners and visitors was a priority for the government.
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