Categorized | National News

New Breed Of Criminals

A senior prison guard at Her Majesty’s Prisons (HMP) yesterday highlighted a growing threat at the prison, noting that officers are now forced to tackle a “new breed” of criminals.

President of the Bahamas Prison Association (BPA) Sergeant Gregory Archer said it is already a tough job for prison officers who have the task of guarding some of the country’s most dangerous criminals around the clock, but Mr. Archer said that job is growing increasingly harder as Her Majesty’s Prison is now infiltrated with a more hardened crew of criminals.

“The inmates are not like the inmates of old,” he said. “These guys are violent and our job is made much harder.”

“We have to remember who is who and who’s from what area, who is from what gang and segregating becomes hard.”

Mr. Archer said the prison is already a dangerous place to be for both the inmates and the prison officers, but he said over the years the jail atmosphere has gotten even worse as a new breed of criminals have taken over.

In fact, the prison officer likened the mood at HMP to scenes out of movies and MSNBC’s hit prison documentary television show, Lockup.

He noted that gang activity in the prison has rapidly increased and the fights are getting even more dangerous.

He said on a daily basis officers’ lives are put at risk as the inmates bring their violent, gang activities behind bars, posing serious problems for the institution.

Making matters worse, Mr. Archer said is the fact that prison officers are still battling those longstanding structural issues.

“We have mould, they are still working on getting running water in the facility, as if it is not important,” he added. “We are still short-staffed; stray dogs are around the compound, the dumping system has live feaces that we have to inhale every day.”

The prison officer says overcrowding is still a problem at the Fox Hill compound adding that the addition of the new Remand Court has only made matters worse.

“The Remand Court within the prison is giving us more work,” Mr. Archer said. “Normally we would have just put them on the bus and turn them over to the police because they are remanded persons and the police’s responsibility.”

“But we assist with the court on Nassau Street and the court at the prison, which is on the prison compound although they say it is just adjacent to the prison.”

Mr. Archer said based on what he knows the problem lies with the prison’s administration and not the government who he says has sent down instructions to get things done but they have yet to be completed.

He said while they are not threatening any industrial action he says “there are still things that we can do to get the attention we need.”

The Bahama Journal was unable to reach Prison Superintendent Dr. Elliston Rahming for comment.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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