Changes Coming at Prison after contraband found during recent raid

Bijoux

Aug 21, 2022

The government has put forward a set of recommendations that they believe can correct the wrongs at the country’s prison.

The recommendations come on the heels of a recent police raid that discovered drugs, over 60 cellphones, make-shift weapons, and other prohibited contraband at prison cells.

Among the suggestions is the rotating or changing of the officers who are responsible for checking entry and exit to the prison and utilizing metal detectors.

Following the raid, questions were raised about the involvement of prison officers in the transportation of contraband into the prison.

The Superintendent of Prison Jermain Anthony confirmed that he has heard these claims and an investigation is currently underway.

He said any prison officer found wanting will be punished according to the laws governing the penitentiary.

But Information Minister Melford Nicholas said the government believes that prevention is better than punishment.

“Screening of those entering the Prison compound, including Officers, should not be left to the Prison authorities, it was determined,” Nicholas said.

Other recommendations include the completion of two towers that are intended to deter members of the public from throwing items over the prison walls.

“One Officer to seven inmates is the ideal ratio; the ratio is now one on-duty Officer to almost forty inmates at a time. There are about 250 inmates in the prison. At least 40 more officers are to be trained and deployed. One additional vehicle and other safety equipment are required in order to effectively manage the prison and movement of prisoners,” he said.

The government also intends to construct an internal buffer fence at the eastern border of the prison should immediately be constructed.

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Antigua and Barbuda