Categorized | National News

Security Breach At School For Boys – Six Boys Still At Large, Griffin Reveals

Days after seven boys breached security and escaped from custody at the Simpson Penn Centre, Social Services Minister Melanie Griffin has vowed to put in place immediate measures to prevent further escapes.

In the House of Assembly Wednesday, Mrs. Griffin revealed that last Sunday, seven boys absconded from the Simpson Penn Centre; since then one of the boys has been taken into custody while the others remain at large.

“I also wish to advise this honourable chamber of a disturbance that occurred at the Willie Mae Centre during the night of Monday, August 13 and the early morning of Tuesday, August 14, due to the disorderly behaviour of several residents,” Mrs. Griffin said. “The assistance of the police was requested in having order restored.”

Mrs. Griffin said that she, along, with senior officials from her ministry, in conjunction with officers from the Elizabeth Estates Police Station, worked together to diffuse the situation at the Willie Mae Centre for Girls.

However, the minister revealed that another disturbance occurred early Tuesday morning and again required police assistance.

In light of these incidents, Mrs. Griffin said several measures have been taken to correct some of the deficiencies at both juvenile centres.

“These include the repair and replacement of light fixtures in the dormitories, which I am assured are tamper resistant, the replacement of water closets in the bathrooms of the cottages and the clearing of overgrown bush,” the minister said. “More work remains to be done and this is being addressed by my ministry in consultation with the Ministry of Works and Urban Development.”

“While the physical condition of the Willie Mae Pratt Centre is not as critical as that of the Simpson Penn Centre, there are some matters that need to be addressed and these have been prioritised for action; however, work is being completed on the clearing of the overgrown property at the back of the centre.”

Mrs. Griffin acknowledged that both centres have outgrown their current facilities and she noted that focused attention has to be given to the redevelopment of the facilities and ensuring that they are in line with modern standards.

Additionally, she reaffirmed the government’s commitment to providing resources for the short-term measures that are required to restore good order and security at both centres, improving the conditions for the residents and staff and put in place the programmes that the ministry deems are vital to the personal development and rehabilitation of residents.

“We are also committed to the long-term development of the centres in line with the provisions of the Child Protection Act, 2007 to meet the demands of our ever changing society,” she said.

The minister has also promised a full progress report on the works being done at both centres when the House resumes from its summer recess this October.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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