The Department of Corrections is investigating an assault on one of its officers by an inmate at the Westgate Correctional Facility.
Other officers intervened to bring the inmate under control and he is said to have been placed in segregation pending adjudication of the alleged act.
The incident reportedly happened during a sit in staged by inmates to protest what they say are poor living conditions and acts of deprivation on the part of prison authorities.
Among their concerns, they claim the plumbing at the facility is faulty and there is concern about the quality of the water used for drinking and other purposes.
There are claims that some inmates are being kept from communicating with their lawyers, making it difficult to prepare for court appearances.
Elsewhere there are accusations that inmates are being prevented from attending funerals of loved ones or even being able to view live streams of such events, due to a shortage of Corrections Officers.
TNN understands the well publicised staff shortage has resulted in funeral escorts, as they’re called, now considered high risk and no longer allowed.
Our source contends inmates are also demanding that conjugal visits be allowed and that they be allowed an area to be used as a designated smoking facility.
Smoking, you may remember, was banned at the island’s prisons during the tenure of Lieutenant Colonel Edward Lambe as Commissioner of Corrections.
Colonel Lambe is now the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of National Security which has responsibility for Corrections.
TNN has reached out to National Security Minister Michael Weeks for comment but had not heard back from him as at the time of publication.
Reports are there are currently 108 inmates being housed in the C units which has remand and maximum security inmates, and segregation unit, the E-2 and E-3 Units at Westgate as the E-1 area is closed for repair work. Many of the inmates involved in the sit-in are reputed to be serving lengthy sentences.
Stay tuned to TNN News for further updates on this story.
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