BALSAM GHUT, Tortola, VI (VI NewsOnline) – Prison Officers having sexual intercourse with inmates, selling drugs and cell phones to inmates, visitation protocols being breached, scant regards to officers’ complaints are just a few of the challenges allegedly plaguing Her Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut, Tortola.
It’s not the first time that officers attached to the correctional facility have lodged complaints with this news site about infractions being committed by both inmates and prison officers.
‘Somebody will get killed up here’
A person with very close affiliation to the local facility recently made contact with this news site alleging that the situation at HMP has been getting worse, noting that the infractions have continuously been reported with no resolution and in direct words, “Somebody need to get this in the papers so that someone can read it and the Minister cold see and do something about it cause somebody will get kill up here.”
It was clearly explained that prison officers are supplying inmates with drugs and also having sex with them. “Officers having sex with inmates and all kinds of foolishness. These are female officers having sex with inmates and male officers. An officer having sex with an officer is not a problem but they are not supposed to interfere with the government inmates as we would call them. Those are government property,” said the source.
“Officers selling inmates cell phones and all that foolishness going on up here….the drugs and cell phones – we have a team call the security team, they supposed to mask up and come in and search up people.. the supervisor for the security team supposed to organise, call police, call customs, they come in with the dogs and they search. They had that twice.”
It was also told to this news site that there are instances where visitation protocols are being breached and condoned by some prison officers.
It was alleged that complaints are falling on deaf ears. “It just keep happening. Officers bringing in drugs for inmates, the jail full of drugs and cell phones,” alleged our source.
Things are said to be of such gravity that there are instances where inmates are allegedly “slapping off” prison officers. “You write a report nothing coming out of it. It is like you going to the Superintendent with these things and he is like he will get to the bottom of it and is like you lock down the inmate for a day or two, the inmate come back out and the same foolishness.”
Inmate singled out
The name of inmate Wakima Lettsome was labelled as being one of the most difficult, allegedly causing havoc in the prison. Reference was made of him once stabbing an officer and its said that his behaviour has not altered. He is accused of turning up the food station when he is not pleased with the meals provided, among other things.
Things are to such an extent that it is alleged that some officers report more sick days than actual working days.
The superintendent of Prisons Mr David Foot got a lot of flogging from our source who said he is guilty of not handling matters properly. It was alleged what when certain officers take complaints to him in the presence of the alleged defaulting inmate, he “runs you out” his office and keeps the inmate in.
“Now when the inmate comes out the office he watching you and smile. He had to be telling he something for he to be smiling,” the source alleged.
Meanwhile, all attempts to reach Mr Foot for a comment proved futile; however, this news site will continue to try to reach the prison boss to get a response to the disturbing allegations.
HMP falls under the portfolio of controversial Minister for Education and Culture Hon Myron V. Walwyn, who could not be reached for comments.