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New technology coming to safeguard prisons

Published: 
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Prison boss on inmates using social media:

New Prisons Commissioner William Alexander says the Prison Service will be updating the technology used to safeguard the prisons in wake of recent posting of videos on social media by inmates.

Yesterday, a video of several inmates arguing with cell phones and one with an unidentified object in his hand was posted on social media.

One of the inmates was heard verbally abusing another prisoner while telling him to leave his cell.

Another video posted last week saw two inmates rolling on the ground, wrestling in front of a prison cell.

In an interview yesterday, Alexander said the two prisoners in the first video were interviewed and they claimed they were wrestling.

“The inmates were interviewed and they said they were wrestling but we have rules and regulations and their movements were restricted. The prevalence of these inmates with phones and Facebook is as though somebody has an agenda. I don’t want to venture but to tarnish the image of the service,” he said.

Williams said because of the updated technology the inmates were able to get through the blocks used at the prison.

He said the officers have already started some searches for cellphones and other devices. He said, however, he did want to alert anyone on when the searches of the prison would be conducted.

“It will alert other persons in addition and we have identified the inmates involved all who took pictures who post them and sent them out,” he said.

Williams said he would do everything possible to make the prisons as safe as he could.

“This commissioner, William Alexander, I love T&T and I will do all in my ability and my power to make the improvements necessary to make sure the safety of T&T and these things that are causing anxiety and comfort we need to deal with and there are challenges and all who are willing to make a contribution,” he said.

He said prison officers have been trying to teach inmates to gather a new perspective on life than to destroy and hurt people.

Meanwhile, the Prison Officers’ Association has called for an investigation into the video and to hold any member of staff accountable.

A release from the association said the officers were disgusted by the apparent negligence of members of staff which allowed this atrocity to occur in the video circulating on social media.

“As a staff representative organisation we cannot stress enough that the members of staff who contributed to this must be held to account for this act of negligence.

The responsibility of the organisation to hold in safe custody surely was being flaunted and undermined since clearly this altercation could have resulted in the injury or even death of the offenders, the release said.