Wayne Caines on Westgate
Caines announces security review of prisons
The Department of Corrections is to begin an internal security review of prisons, Wayne Caines told MPs in the House of Assembly last Friday.
Mr Caines, the Minister of National Security, said he would also meet representatives of the Prison Officers Association over the organisation’s concerns about the review.
He was speaking after an attempted escape at Westgate Correctional Facility this month.
ZBM news also reported four inmates were arrested after an alleged bid to smuggle contraband into the prison.
Timothy Seon, the POA president, has said safety at the prison has also been undermined by staff shortages and budget cuts to programmes.
Mr Caines said: “Despite challenges faced by the department, it strives to maintain high standards of security
as this is essential to the safe operation of any corrections regime.
“The department will begin an internal security review aimed at identifying any areas of weakness and strengthening current security procedures and protocols.
“It should be noted that our statistics record only one escape from Westgate Correctional Facility since its opening 24 years ago in 1994.
“Additionally, in comparison to other jurisdictions, the number of major incidents such as riots and deaths in custody is considerably lower.”
Mr Caines added: “The Acting Commissioner of Corrections and the Senior Management Team take security and safety of staff seriously and have a no-tolerance approach to threats to security.
“In light of this, a security plan with stringent measures is in place to manage and mitigate the inherent risks that are associated with Corrections.
“The management and staff remain committed to meeting their objectives of rehabilitation, while ensuring the safety and security of the island’s correctional facilities.
“On Monday coming, I will be meeting with the Prison Officers Association to advance discussions surrounding their recent concerns.”
Mr Caines added that 15 new recruits began training on July 2 and are expected to take part in a passing out parade on September 11.
• To read Wayne Caines’s statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”
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