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'Do something now:' Inmate's wife calls for release of non-violent offenders

Feds urged to release non-violent offenders from prisons during pandemic

2020-03-29 5:16:00 PM

Feds urged to release non-violent offenders from prisons during pandemic

The wife of a convicted drug trafficker says the federal government should release non-violent offenders from prison to reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19.

Published Sunday, March 29, 2020 10:15AM EDTSHARELuciana Infusino-Tomei has been left alone to care for her young daughter during the COVID-19 pandemic after her husband was sent to prison last year on a drug-related charge.The 38-year-old woman from Vaughan, Ont., is one of many worrying about the health and safety of their incarcerated loved ones, whose living arrangements make them particularly vulnerable to the novel coronavirus that has so far infected thousands of people and killed dozens across the country.

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"Sometimes I find myself having to hold back my tears," Infusino-Tomei says. "My anxiety is through the roof, and so is my husband's, because he is away from us."She says she hasn't been able to get support in caring for their 19-month-old because her parents are older and in poor health.

Her husband, Adrian Tomei, is serving a three-year sentence at Beaver Creek Institution north of Toronto, after he pleaded guilty last year to possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.Newsletter sign-up: Get The COVID-19 Brief sent to your inbox

Infusino-Tomei says people like her 33-year-old husband -- who have no other criminal history, were convicted of a non-violent crime and have a safe place to stay -- should be released from prison, where she fears COVID-19 would spread uncontrollably.

"There is no excuse for making bad decisions," she says. "He is paying his dues. He plead guilty from the onset and he was a man from the beginning by standing up and facing the music."But she says prisoners are unable to self-isolate and have limited access to hygiene and sanitary products, so sending those who are not a risk to public safety may be the best thing during a pandemic.

"We know mass quarantines don't work because of those people left on cruise ships for weeks at a time," Infusino-Tomei says. "If something like that happens in prison, it's going to be far more dangerous, far more catastrophic on a far larger scale."

She says her husband has applied for parole by exception and is working with a lawyer in Kingtson, Ont.Fergus J. (Chip) O'Connor, Tomei's parole lawyer, cites a section of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act that allows early release for an offender for whom continued confinement would constitute an excessive hardship.

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"My argument is that the pandemic is a public health risk for prisoners and the risk of getting the virus is a hardship that was not previously foreseen," O'Connor says.He says he has suggested to the commissioner of corrections and the Parole Board of Canada that efforts should be made to release non-violent prisoners soon, as the pandemic is expected to peak in Canada in the coming weeks.

He, as well as other legal advocates in Canada, are also calling for the government to recognize parole officers as essential workers, since they play a key role in getting applications processed."I'm not asking that they let everybody out of jail," O'Connor says.

"But if they would just take that step, and if they had the political will to do so, then we could reduce the prison population significantly, put people in their homes and it would ... flatten the curve."He notes he has many clients who are older or have compromised immune systems that would cause major complications if they were to get the novel coronavirus.

In a statement, the Correctional Service of Canada says measures such as a contingency planning for food, supplies and necessary medical equipment has been adopted."CSC has taken full inventory of existing personal protective equipment supplies and has worked with the Public Health Agency of Canada to purchase additional supplies as necessary," it says.

"We have also distributed additional soap, cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer to staff and inmates and we are educating staff and inmates on the prevention and spread of illness, including the importance of good hygiene practices."The CSC, as well as the office of Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, says there have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases in the federal system.

But, the province of Ontario confirmed Thursday that an inmate and corrections officer at the South Toronto Detention Centre tested positive. Saskatchewan announced Friday that two workers at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre also contracted the virus.

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It's something that worries Infusino-Tomei, who says it's just a matter of time before COVID-19 enters the federal system."If we want to get out of this with the fewest deaths ... the only way to do that is to give these inmates an opportunity to isolate," she says.

"Let's not look back and say we should have done something, let's do something now while there is still time to save lives."This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 29, 2020. Read more: CTV News »

Why? No thank you. He can serve his sentence No, they are I jail for a reason. Maybe ask the families of who he sold his drugs to and ruined their lives because of it. I'm sure they wouldn't want him released before he served his full time behind bars. So NO!! Now way Yeah sure..🤔.Please don't ask Trudeau....

No these people are in there for a reason. Releasing them into society with no way to control them would be worse. Sorry lady but your husband did not get in there because he was an upstanding citizen One more before I turn in,,,if you’re in jail you’ve been found guilty, you here that GUILTY!!! leave them there

Yeah no Leave these idiots in jail! I agree it is a waste of taxpayers money right now to keep non violent offenders behind the bars. Canadian prison system needs to get in line with Norway. The Norwegian system works non violent people should not be behind bars. They all need to stay where they belong locked up

Tell her and her criminal husband to Question...if they are locked in, in isolation as we all are , where will they catch the virus from? How many of his clients died of overdose? Drug dealers & violent crimes can stay in and serve their full sentence. That is a public safety issue. Y there in there resion

They’re safer inside the gates I dont think so coach!!! Last people in Society to concern ourselves with. Funny that people are caring and humble until it comes to inmates. Anyone here saying someone should die of a virus cause they are in jail I hope you all get corona virus and die you sorry excuses for humans

DO THE CRIME DO THE TIME ....END OF STORY .. Sounds right. Infestation in jails would be a disaster. fit them with electronic monitoring devices and send them home for house arrest, the non-violent ones that is Worried about health. So empathetic yet what about the lives he destroyed selling drugs for how many years? What did he do for them? What empathetic solution did you give them? I am sorry ! Too little too late !

We are doing something. We’ve locked up your husband because he is a danger to society. funny, earlier the headline included the fact that her husband is a drug dealer. that is a violent criminal, so no release thanks Let me go out rob store knowing I will be released Don’t sell drugs and you wouldn’t be in prison. Seems simple. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Too bad, maybe next time you’ll think twice. I don’t care if you’re so-called non-violent, you committed a crime and the justice system put you away. Do something now! Says some random trashy woman with a cocaine dealing “baby daddy”. How many elderly are lock (in their rooms) in seniors homes 24/7. I guess that would be the hole 🕳 in prison terms. I don’t necessarily disagree with quarantine and release, but not before they get those seniors out of solitary confinement.

Shoot the violent offenders, that’ll give more space to the non-violent ones Yes that I agree with but the Violent ones as I said need to stay there. Just get ankle tracers. Confine to home. If he dies, he dies. Yea non violent offenders that killed neighbourhoods selling drugs , The ppl req that they stay in. You do the crime you do the time. The lives of the many that follow the law outweigh the lives of those that do not whom are in jail.

Let them rot. It's so funny how people thinks after the facts...NO,NO,NO... Lmao. They did the crime. They do their time. SuckItUp Leave them right were they are ...DO THE CRIME DO THE TIME ... Umm NO! This is ridiculous! Everyone is being accessed if sent to prison. Anyone with symptoms are being quarantined and not sent into general public. Her child care concerns are not above her husband selling drugs. He chose that life, he can do the time!

He is dangerous trafficking in drugs,could be causing overdoses ,just because he pleaded guilty should not give him a free past. Well if the get the virus in jail it is more controllable,send them out n the streets and bigger chance they get it ,ffs Let prisoners go but there is no masks for nurses psw and doctors while the fight this..should have told your husband to follow the law

Shut up! Are you kidding? They are safer in there...as if I care. Leave em in just like we all are. Non-violent sounds like you want to let the Thief's out. In times like these we don't need those people on the streets. Sorry inmates wife Prisoners have the best means for self isolation, they are called prison cells! keepthemlockedup

Let’s put some money into proper infection control in the nursing homes first! The seniors were tax-paying upright citizens, they deserve protection during this pandemic... the prison system already takes good care of the criminals with 3 square meals a day! Yes, lets let the criminals roam the streets and lock the old dudes in their retirement homes.

BIG No from me! The safety of our criminals is definitely what keeps me up at night during this crisis. Or....maybe they could have just not committed crimes that put them in this situation? Just a thought... Do not release any of them, are you kidding me? And if they already have it from the crowded prison they bring that out? Get real, get right!

You make so many masks we let you out. Depends on the crime I suppose. Hmmmmm.......I may agree but don't push. No one forced the ppl in jail to commit crimes! 😂😂😂 let them stay. Sucks when you get caught breaking the law 😂😂😂 Im sure his wife has society's best interest at heart. Why not do as she says

Nope. Keep em there. You do the crime you do the time. Let them out on the condition they come back. I’m good with that. I’d also be fine with leaving them in there. If you committed a crime bad enough that it deserved jail time that’s the price you pay. If jails take proper precautions it shouldn’t be a problem.

🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔, no. No. They did the crime, they do the time. Have you all lost your mind (intentionally singular)? Sure, let's just let everyone out! COVIDIDIOT People will try anything. That will end well. How about society worries more about the officers and staff who have no options for quarantine because they have to look after inmates?!

Nooooooooo whyyy? They are safer in jail and we are safer if they are in jail in many more ways ! nothing like creating another massive public vulnerability while trying to manage a pandemic ... sort out your thought process Who cares if they all get it? Release prisoners and I will arm myself No No Cases / population = .012%, not a pandemic. 2009 Swine flu in Canada = 9-10% , a better candidate for pandemic.

Yeah, then give them a free house, food, and other means of living in prep for them to reoffend DURING the pandemic. Whoever “urged” should go read the judgement again. fakenews No, no, and no. NO! Why bother with laws then. LiberalismIsAMentalDisorder So more scams and drugs can be done. Interesting that this wife sees her husband as nonviolent. The drug world is usually dangerous and violent, isn’t it? How about asking the families who have lost people to drug overdoses?

So release them into the public where the chance of getting the virus is greater ,ffs Whf I don’t think so Hold on a second. Let’s say the government releases prisoners to their families. Not a bad idea. But it’s not a smart idea. If the virus is within the institution, it will burn itself out faster if it is kept within the institution. How many potentially infected people sent home?

No Its bullshit!!!! Keep the visitors out and they'll all be fine in there. Nope Release them in Baffin Island? Lots of ways to social distance there! I’m not sold on this idea at all!! SelfIsolation Why? What could go wrong! They are there for a reason. The Government keep saying they want to keep Canadians safe, They wont be safe if you let them flee the coop.

Urged by who Their ‘advocates’ 🤔🤔 those in prison stay in prison - there are enough criminals on the streets thanks JustinTrudeau Whos the dipshit that thought of this idea or ya just want an empty jail to use as a morgue? Keep them there When the media like are so twisted within their own rhetoric that they think it’s a good idea to lock up tax paying citizens in their homes and simultaneously free prisoners from jail - you know something has gone terribly wrong

Not acceptable keep them confined and finish their sentences, do the crime do the time!! So strangely Canadian to even be concerned, why we struggle so hard to find those wronged is bizarre, perhaps testimony to our overwhelming sense of unfair entitlement, they're much better isolated then the rest of us

At this point prisoners are likely safer from the virus in jail than in the community. 90% of new cases of covid19 are community spread. So they are going to release prisoners who will enforce us to stay home. Creepy tactics Really? Here comes anarchy Nope...do the crime...you do the time. How well did this work out for the police officer in Richmond Hill yesterday?

Compliance not their strong suit. Where would they go? They’d have to self isolate 14 days anywhere. Not practical. why would they want to get out? If I was in prison, I would stay there. They only have to worry about 'social distancing themselves from the guards.' They are behind bars for their crimes, not the crimes of the society. You must protect society even if that means prison population gets the virus and then gets released forever to the next world.

So they can sell drugs to our children endangering their lives but we're supposed to feel sorry for these loser monsters and set them loose to ply their trade again. I don't think so! Do the crime and do the time. You fucked up so pay the consequences They deserve to be free. Jail is unfair. Perhaps they can move in with Trudeau and he can hug away their sins and when this is all over Canadians can pay these criminals for all the hardships they’ve endured. Aka Omar K.

That would end well. Irresponsible to release convicted criminals? No way !!!! Crooks helping crooks. Maybe find a non-criminal husband!! If they die, they die. Many indigenous reserves have closed their reserves and are trying to mitigate the situation , with the prison population being of the majority of indigenous, this will put those places in harm's way. Or create a homeless situation within the cities.

Did the crime, serve the time... virus or no virus. That's synchronistic. A few weeks ago l saw a man sitting down looking very forlorn in front of a large busy grocery store where crowds were frantically hauling out toilet paper by the thousands. He was released from prison that same day alone, penniless, and with nowhere to go.

Um why!? arent they in isolation and therefore in the best condition to not get sick. StayTheFHome NO. that seems silly. Someone explain the science behind this. What am I missing? Nooooooo please Absolutely not ! This is just wrong. NO! Liberal wet dream to empty the jails right here Urged by who? The convicts' families? Come on. This is ridiculous. No cases in the prison. They are safer from Covid inside than released.

Eff off!!! Question...if they ate locked in, in isolation as we all are , where will they catch the vurus? Of course she wants her baby daddy back! Prisons need to quarantine in place like everyone else. The pandemic does not mean the law is null and void. I urge non violent offender to not offend. Then they won't have to be urging for release from what is a just prison sentence to begin with. I know, right, such a hard concept to understand.

Why Stupid. You do the crime.... you do the time... Sentences are not nearly long enough in Canada as it is. Pandemic.. Tough Tiddy! They should be stay in the jail Non-trafficking weed charge? Sure, let them out. Cocaine possession for trafficking purposes, like this article's example? No. You're not in prison because you're a great person who has done wonderful things for society.

Keep them all in no matter what! People are now buying guns during this pandemic and those are people that aren’t even in jail!!! Can you imagine what prisoners that are going to do if they are released? seriously people!! Once again a nice misleading headline. You intentionally don't mention the 'urging' is coming from the wife of a convicted criminal. Do the crime, do the time! Deal with it.

sure, create even more CHAOS CTVEnemyoftheTruth Looks like he gave 0 fucks when trafficking cocaine. GFY. Why would the government release any kind of offender into general population after being convicted of a crime?So who amongst the violaters gets to go and who stays?, so potentially a convicted felon should could treatment in Society over someone who hasn’t broken the law?

JustinTrudeau no As pet article. There NO cases there!. So you want to release them.... where? With who? How are they accountable? Your in federal you are sentenced to at least 2 years!!! So your not there for stealing a damn choclate bar. Your there because you CAN'T FOLLOW THE RULES!! Bad idea NO. So that means Trudeau would be able to leave his house?

Ya, ok 🙄 Just me that thinks it’s impractical to release people who are potentially carrying the virus? 🤷🏻‍♀️

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