Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 24, 2020 (SKNIS): Security at Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) has been beefed up to reduce the possibility of escape by inmates as well as to detect and intercept any contraband being introduced into the correctional facility.
Commissioner of Corrections, Terrance James, shared a bit about some of the initiatives undertaken at the main prison facility designed to keep the staff at HMP and the community safe while at the same time protecting the basic human rights of inmates and upholding the stringent rules of the correctional facility.
While appearing on this week’s edition of Working for You, Commissioner James recounted a recent incident where an inmate escaped from the prison based on a unique circumstance. He noted that that gap has subsequently been filled and security measures hardened.
“We have … installed CCTV (Closed Circuit Television) cameras [that] cover the complete surroundings of the prison and inside of the prison,” James stated. “So anywhere you move inside the prison, it is covered by CCTV and we have 24-hour manning of the camera monitors.”
Some inmates spend much of their times trying to beat the stringent security measures to smuggle contraband into the prison. The main items recovered during searches are lighters, mobile phones, and small packages containing marijuana.
A scanning machine installed at the main gate has proven to be very effective in detecting contraband. Everyone that goes into HMP, including staff and guards, is subjected to full body scans using the high-tech device. Personal items such as bags are also scanned.
“We have seen a drastic reduction in contraband or prohibited items entering the prison,” Commissioner James added.
He recalled one occasion where a visitor brought a frozen juice for an inmate. During an inspection, a cell phone was found hidden inside the juice.
“We have a sign on the gate that [says] “Persons Found Trying to Convey any Contraband into the Prison Will be Dealt with by the Law … and so we are asking members of the public to refrain from attempting to bring contraband into the prison,” the prison chief said.
Security measures are constantly being reviewed and searches are done periodically to ensure that the institution continues to be effective in carrying out the mandates of the law.