– Erskine reassures staff on alert
Director of Prisons Dale Erskine said yesterday that the discovery of a .32 round in the prison was cause for concern, but reassured that staffers at the Camp Street penitentiary are always on high alert.
Erskine was responding to reports that the round of ammunition was found in the ‘brick prison’ a few days ago during a routine search by police and prison staff. Investigators have been unable to implicate anyone in the find.
Some lawmen who lost colleagues during the 2002-2008 crime wave expressed fear that at least one firearm might have been smuggled into the prison by persons who might be planning a jailbreak.
Erskine told Kaieteur News that the search unearthed “a number of articles,” which sources said included marijuana and several sharpened implements.
Asked if there was concern that the presence of a bullet had aroused concern that firearms might also been smuggled into the prison, Erskine asserted that “anybody would be concerned…a round (in the prison) would always give us concern.” He added that the prison ranks are “always on high alert”, when asked whether there was heightened security at the prison.
The Director of Prisons said that metal detectors have been used in the prison for a number of years.
Today will mark nine years since Andrew Douglas, Dale Moore, Shawn Brown, Troy Dick and Mark Fraser made a daring daylight escape from the Georgetown Prison, killing prison officer, Troy Williams, and badly wounding his colleague, Roxanne Winfield, who was shot in the face.
The escape spawned an unprecedented crime wave, in which several lawmen and a number of civilians lost their lives.
A Commission of Inquiry recommended several measures, including a change in top management, relieving the Officer-in-Charge of his responsibilities, early retirement for two Senior Prison Officers who worked that day, the establishment of a prison inspectorate to investigate complaints, the reduction of the officer-to-prisoner ratio to allow for recruitment of more staff, random searches of prison officers, placing a walk through and extra scanner at the front gate, dressing high profile prisoners in special colours and training for all prison officers.
However, persons in collusion with some inmates have still managed to smuggle various items, including cell phones and narcotics into the prison.
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