25th February 2016
The Ministry of National Security will be collaborating with the Ministry of Health to bring effective changes to the current situation at the country’s lone correctional facility, until long term plans are cemented.
On Wednesday, a delegation which comprised of Permanent Secretary with the Ministry of Public Safety and Labour, Sharon Peters, Superintendant of the Prison, Albert Wade, Commissioner of Police, Wendel Robinson, Chief of Defense Staff Col. Sir. Trevor Thomas and Medical Officer within the Ministry of Health, Dr. Orita nj Zachariah, made a presentation to cabinet surrounding existing conditions at the prison.
Cabinet was briefed on the state of affairs of the facility. to include an update on Chicken Pox, MRSA and the issue surrounding prisoners using cell phones to call into a live radio program.
“It is clear that there is a serious problem in the prison and I am extremely concerned” said the Minister of Health the Hon. Molwyn Joseph. He said actions must be taken to ensure that the existing health issues are addressed with urgency.
Minister Joseph said “the fact that the situation was allowed to reach that state and there is a doctor assigned to the prison is unacceptable; individuals must begin to do their work.
“This notion of unproductivity and unaccountability must stop, when you are given a job to do it must be done,” Joseph said.
The Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne and Minister of National Security, the Hon. Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin and the entire cabinet, agreed that something needs to be done.
The Minister of Health offered his assistance in ensuring that two more Doctors ware assigned to Her Majesty’s Prison. It was also noted that a Head Matron will be placed in the facility with a compliment of two nurses to assist her.
With immediate effect, Superintendant of the Prison Albert Wade noted that sanitization efforts have commenced and indicated that the cells and surrounding walls have been sprayed and cleaned. Wade added that it will be an ongoing process.
Also modern specialized bathroom facilities will be erected in the prison in the matter of weeks.
In addition to this, additional cells will be added to the remand section, converting an airing room into cells and adding building accommodation for inmate kitchen staff with further Security Towers.
Cabinet also discussed a possible location where a temporary remand center could be housed in order to ease the overcrowding situation at the prison; it was also suggested that ankle monitor will be explored.
On the issue of cell phone usage, a cell phone blocking technology will be considered in order to bring an end to prisoners using those forbidden devices.
For Further Information Contact: Laurisa Francis Communications Officer Ministry of Legal Affairs Tel: (268) 464-5348