The unauthorized use of cell-phones by inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison is one of the concerns of Superintendent, Mr. David Foot. The Head of the Prison also highlighted some security concerns in a report that was tabled in the House of Assembly on 12 February.
In mentioning the cell-phone issue, he said: “The use of cell-phones by inmates at the Balsam Ghut Prison has been a major concern. A pin phone system for use by inmates was explored with local telecommunications carriers.”
He explained that pin phones are well structured systems with inbuilt security features, and are used throughout the world in prison services. The Superintendent explained that the implementation would provide an alternative legal means of communication for inmates.
“LIME was the only carrier presenting a proposal in regards to a pin phone system. However, financial constraints existed which militated against its implementation in the current year,” Mr. Foot announced.
As it relates to security concerns, Mr. Foot stated that there is a need for additional security cameras. He stated that additional security cameras at strategic areas of the prison compound will enhance the Prison’s ability to better monitor the institution and deter security breaches.
The fencing was also noted as one of the concerns of the Prison as the Superintendent stated that the perimeter fencing has been deteriorating over the years. The deterioration is said to be progressing, and the Prison is said to be in need of a second fence to prevent prohibited articles, cellular phones, alcohol, cigarettes and drugs from entering the compound; and to minimize the risk of inmates escaping.
It was also recommended that security cameras be placed on the perimeter fence. Additionally, more lighting is needed on the outskirts of the prison compound.