Call to release prisoners amid virus threat
HIGH-profile criminal lawyer and advocate Debbie Kilroy has warned prisoners face a great risk if coronavirus hits Queensland's jails, calling for young prisoners to be released to protect them.
Ms Kilroy, who has spent four days in isolation after testing positive for the virus says she is "getting sicker" and has developed a chest infection.
In a post on social media, Ms Kilroy described the virus as "vicious".
She also warned that the risk prisoners face if the virus hits our jails - particularly if young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are exposed to it and return home to their communities.
"We cannot stand by and wait for COVID-19 to hit our youth prisons. We must release our children before the virus hits," she wrote.
"We cannot stand by and risk our children's lives.
"Being remanded or sentenced to a prison term is not a death penalty in Australia.
"When COVID-19 hits our prisons, many will die. We must release people now before the virus hits. Prisons are incubators of disease."
Ms Kilroy, who runs Sisters Inside, an advocacy organisation for female prisoners, tested positive for the virus after catching the same flight home from the US as Peter Dutton.
Both she and her travelling companion tested positive.
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The lawyer posted to Twitter overnight that she is progressively becoming more ill.
"Day 4 in isolation has been really hard," she wrote.
"I'm getting sicker. Medical staff came home to check on us and they're great.
"Feeling really nauseous and I've developed a chest infection.
"My daughter organised chicken soup and fresh juices but can't taste anything.
"Take care of yourself."