Corrupt officers posing a challenge to prison authorities

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Director of Prisons (ag) Gladwin Samuels is now lamenting on the struggles the authorities are facing in detecting and weeding out corrupt officers from within the system.

Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels

Despite heightened measures by the authorities to curb contraband smuggling into the prisons, the issue remains a perennial problem. Moreover, it is believed several prison and police officers are involved in facilitating the illegal trade, which is said to be a “big business”.

In fact, back in May 5, prison officers got into trouble for their involvement in taking marijuana into the Lusignan Prison; while only last week a policeman was caught attempting to throw more contraband items into the holding area of the same facility.

According to Samuels, efforts are constantly being made to rid the prisons of contraband, but every time this is done, it creates the demand for more illicit items which some officers take advantage of and capitalise on.

“We have been putting systems in place, there are several standard operation procedures that guide the steps that must be followed when persons are entering the prison. But what is clear is that there seems to be established syndicates, these are Officers who are working in collusion with each other to facilitate the movement of these items into the prison. We do not have the luxury of being able to have a gazette rank on every shift and in the absences of these persons who can lend oversight, the persons on the ground tend to capitalise on those opportunities to carry out their illegal acts” the Director lamented.

Samuels went on to note that while several methods are there to gather intelligence in the prison environment, these efforts are hindered by the practice of officers who see and don’t report such acts by their colleagues.

Moreover, the Prisons Director posited that because of this, it is difficult for authorities to identify these rogue officers and so they go on with their corrupt acts.

Nevertheless, the Prison Director asserted that steps are being taken to acquire scanners to further beef up security and prevent the smuggling of contrabands into prison facilities. (Kizzy Coleman)

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