Six high-risk inmates at women's prison relocated

Thursday, January 17, 2019

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SIX high-risk inmates at the women's prison — Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre — have been relocated to the high-security Horizon Adult Remand Centre in Kingston, following an outbreak of violence at Fort Augusta recently.

At the same time, investigations are being conducted jointly by the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Independent Commission of Investigations on the assault of a female inmate at the facility, the security ministry announced in a release yesterday. The relocation of the inmates, the security ministry said, will enhance the security of the inmates and staff and subsequently lower the risks of violent outbreak at the women's prison.

State Minister Ruddy Spencer, following a meeting Tuesday with officials of the Department of Correctional Services, announced that additional security measures have been implemented to prevent future occurrences of violent incidents and safeguard the basic rights of inmates at the women's prison. In addition, he said additional staff will also be deployed in short order to reinforce the inmate-to-officer ratio at the facility.

Minister Spencer also announced that following a health assessment by the institution's medical team, three inmates were diagnosed as mentally ill and were placed in singular cells, while to further strengthen the security in the facility frequent random searches will be conducted and gate procedures enhanced.

Said Spencer: “Another security measure that will be implemented is the removal of all electrical outlets on the cell blocks. This will prevent the charging of phones which will inherently prevent the use of these devices.”

“We deeply regret that this attack transpired and has even caused hurt to an inmate. The safety and well-being of all inmates and staff are of utmost importance. We [will] continue to do everything in our power to ensure that the basic rights of inmates are protected,” said Spencer.

At the same time, he said inmates are fed three nutritious meals daily and assured that their living conditions are sanitary, as he dismissed rumours to the contrary.

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