Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Prime Minister appoints Special Prisons Committee

File: PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Monday appointed a special 9-member committee to investigate and address issues raised by prison officers and prisoners. The group, which falls under the Ministry of Justice, holds its first meeting Tuesday at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair.

She took the action in response to a series of incidents and protests by prisoners at the Golden Grove State Prison.

In a media release the PM stated that she had been personally monitoring the on-going situation at the Prison and expressed her deep concern over recent and continuing developments related to the prison and to the situation in general.

The situation escalated with the murder of off-duty prisons officer, Andy Rogers, on November 6 at Malabar.

The committee consists of the following persons:
  1. Professor Ramesh Deosaran - Chairman
  2. The Commissioner of Prisons - Mr. Martin Martinez
  3. Inspector of Prisons - Mr. Daniel Khan
  4. Minister of National Security - Senator the Honourable Gary Griffith
  5. Minister of Justice - Senator the Honourable Emmanuel George
  6. Ag. Commissioner of Police - Mr. Stephen Williams
  7. Attorney at law, Mr. Wayne Sturge
  8. A representative of the Prison Population
  9. General Secretary of the Prisons Officers' Association - Mr. Gerard Gordon
Persad-Bissessar said she hopes this Committee would bring the crisis at Golden Grove to a speedy resolution.

Persad-Bissessar also noted that she met two months ago with representatives of the Prisons Officers Association to hear their concerns, which included a call for the authorities to give prisons officers firearms while off-duty, and for them to be afforded houses.

The Prime Minister has also been advised that some of the urgent issues presented included concerns about overcrowding in prisons, a lack of available transportation to court, no airing or recreation time for prisoners, and the cancellation of visitation rights of families and friends.

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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