Prison officers took what many have called a bold decision on Monday, braving the heat and raising placards in protest for outstanding pay, overtime, risk allowances, better working conditions, and more manpower.
These men and women stood in front of His Majesty’s Prisons saying that they are fed up with being treated with disrespect by the prison authorities and the Minster of National Security Steadroy Benjamin.
They also used that opportunity to call for the immediate intervention of Prime Minister Gaston Browne and the instant removal of the Acting Superintendent of Prison Jermaine Anthony and the Permanent Secretary Stacy Paige from their positions.
The prison officers say there was an inquiry conducted not too long ago which they are also demanding to be made public.ç
The prison officers say they are faced with unsanitary conditions at the prison including the lack of proper washing facilities. The protestors say many female officers have contracted Urinary Tract Infections as a result. They are also calling for a place of worship at His Majesty’s. They also took issue with the fact that they were searched by police after contraband was found at the prison a few months ago.
The officers say they won’t meet with the minister responsible for the prison Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin unless he is accompanied by the Prime Minister himself.
Meanwhile, Benjamin says work is underway to address matters at the country’s lone penal institution, in a strategic manner.
“The issues at the prison are being dealt with in a strategic systematic manner. I have been informed and I do believe the whole drive at this time is because we have introduced new systems in the prisons which are bent on curbing irregularities and we have been extremely successful in those activities.
All attempts to speak with Prison Superintendent Jermaine Anthony and Prime Minister Gaston Browne proved futile.