Maldives correctional service

Govt introduces virtual family visits to inmates

Family visits to inmates via skype have commenced. Maldives Correctional Service had previously announced that work was underway to make such arrangements after physical family visits were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maldives Correctional Service said family visits to inmates have now been facilitated through Skype video calls. The guideline for virtual family visits to inmates through video calls were publicised on Thursday.

As per the guideline, video calls are arranged when face-to-face visits have to be ceased due to emergencies, and if an attorney’s visits have to be halted. In such cases, those visits can be facilitated through video calls conference.

The new guideline states that every inmate is entitled to two video conference calls of 15 minutes via Skype in a month.

The guideline also states other conditions in which video calls shall be facilitated. In such cases, a 15-minute video call shall be provided to the inmate if the government is unable to facilitate a face-to-face visit; if a family member is seriously ill and admitted to hospital, when a family member passes away and if the prisoner is unable to attend the funeral, spouse’s delivery, and in case of children’s circumcision.