Thursday, May 9, 2013

Prison officers support phone jammers to cut off phone calls from prisoners

Prison Officers like a plan announced on Monday night to cut off illegal phone calls from inmates in prisons.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced the measure at a public meeting Monday night. 

She noted that convicted criminals have access to illegal cell phones and they are using the devices to carry on their illegal activities while being behind bars.

She said it is nothing new, noting that the PNM was aware of the problem and did nothing about it. She added that a former National Security Minister, Martin Joseph, told the Senate in 2008 that 1184 illegal cellphones were smuggled into Trinidad and Tobago prisons over a six-year period.

"These criminals are continuing to run their organisations from inside the jail by obstructing police investigations, and calling shots on witnesses," she said.

"This technology can find phones and block calls as well as text messages from unapproved numbers within our prisons. We will cut them off."

President of the Prisons Officers Association Ceron Richards said on Tuesday such technology is needed to fight crime. 

In a media release Richards said: “That has long been seen as a problem and has been in the public domain for years, where there is a link in the prison system and outside. 

“All the more reason why we support the initiative and hope she listens to the cries of prisons officers and inmates so the Government measures are necessary to bring about a properly functioning prisons service that can effectively treat with the protection of the society from crime.” 

Richards suggested stronger security measures be implemented in addition to the new technology. 

“We agree with her. We are elated. We called for this for the past few years because there is a proliferation of cellphones in the T&T prison system that is causing a negative on the internal environment and external environment as it relates to crime,” he added.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai