Hinds hopes prisoner escape never recurs – Trinidad & Tobago

Hinds prisoner escape Trinidad

Hinds hopes prisoner escape never recurs – Trinidad & Tobago

Fitzgerald Hinds says changes will be coming to the prison infrastructure in Trinidad & Tobago to ensure there is no repeat of Sunday’s prisoner escape.

This was stated by Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds yesterday, while speaking with the media outside of Golden Grove Prison in Arouca.

Moments before, Hinds had toured the dormitory area with acting Commissioner of Prisons Deopersad Ramoutar.

While Hinds did not commit to an exact figure for new funding with which the service will be provided, he said he would be approaching senior officials in Government with recommendations made by Ramoutar on how best to move forward to ensure there are no future escapes from that building.

“I received a preliminary report which reflected the events that transpired, and I just had an opportunity to tour the facility and to see the exact location that was used in this escape, and to have discussions with the engineers of the Prison Service and the engineers of the engineering corps of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force and the admin of the Prison Service.

“So, now, I have to contemplate things that must be done to ensure that we don’t have a recurrence of this kind of situation,” Hinds said.

He noted that when he saw the facility from where the group had escaped, suggestions were put forward for an immediate solution to the problem as it related to the roofing and wires used to ­secure the dormitories.

Hinds said he was also given recommendations for an infrastructure to be installed at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope, to only treat with prisoners, and this too was something he was considering.

“On top of all of that, from my intelligence, these were low-risk prisoners who did not have a history of bad behaviour and, as such, they were not expecting that sort of action from those men who would have done fairly short sentences at the Carrera Island prison. They were brought here days before the escape in order to ­benefit from training (in) auto body straightening and repairs, to prepare them for a productive re-entry into society, and they made an opportunity to escape.

“That by itself left me sad and concerned, but the resulting actions, I must say, have left me very proud, as the inter-agency approach, from the Police Service to the Defence Force, to the Prison Service, have been very commendable, and resulted in the detention of four of the five escapees within 24 hours.

“That is something to be recognised and praised, and my intelligence is that the last individual will be arrested soon,” Hinds said.

Ramoutar said while the actions of the escapees had cast a negative light on the security of the prison service, he had no intentions of closing the rehabilitation programme.

Hinds: Prison changes coming  Trinidad & Tobago Express Newspapers


Dean Nestor

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