Probe launched after brawl at Richmond Farm prison

Probe launched after brawl at Richmond Farm prison

Monday, April 06, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Ministry of National Security is to carry out a full review of operations at the Richmond Farm Correctional Centre following an incident yesterday which left three warders and an inmate injured.

Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of National Security Matthew Samuda has confirmed that shortly after 11:00 am yesterday correctional officers were in the process of conducting a routine search, when an inmate was discovered with a cellphone.

According to Samuda, during an attempt by the warders to retrieve the cellphone an altercation developed during which three correctional officers and the inmate were injured.

They were taken to a medical facility for treatment and based on medical reports the injuries are not life-threatening.

Samuda said several other contraband items were found inside the prison yesterday and , in keeping with protocol, the fracas was reported to the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), which have launched probes.

He said the incident has also triggered a wider probe of operations at the minimum security prison.

“The permanent secretary has asked the Inspectorate of the Ministry of National Security to look into both the incident, as well as the operation of the facility, to ensure that we have been operating as we are supposed to, and where there are gaps, that we can close them,” said Samuda.

He noted that normality had returned to the facility by two yesterday afternoon.

“We did conduct searches of the entire facility in line with our effort to curtail the entry on contraband into the correctional facilities. We are making every effort to deal with what has been a problem, probably for as long as the DCS (Department of Correctional Services) has been around.

“The problem is not as simple as some persons might think, and it is probably more widespread than we would have liked, but we are taking a strategic look at what is required in terms of infrastructure, technology and changes to our system,” added Samuda.

Arthur Hall

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