AG Benjamin Responds: HMP Improvements Ongoing

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POINTE XPRESS: As correction officers continued their protests at His Majesty’s Prison for a second day, Minister of Public Safety, Steadroy Benjamin, said work is being done at the detention facility to address the concerns of the officers.

While he admitted that the work may not be progressing at the speed the officers may wish, Minister Benjamin said on Tuesday that his ministry is collaborating with other government agencies to improve working conditions at the prison.

And while he did not minimise the legitimacy of the officers’ concerns, he expressed his belief that their disgruntlement was really rooted in the recent security changes at the prison.

“There are conditions which need to be addressed and are being addressed at the moment. Maybe they are not being as readily as they should, but you’ve got to work along with the Public Works Department and the Ministry of Health, and those issues are being addressed, but I dare say, I have been informed, and I do well believe, that all this matter springs from what’s taking place with respect to security within the prison walls,” said Benjamin.

He continued while the construction of a new prison facility would be an ideal resolution to the concerns over infrastructure at the prison, this is not possible at this time, therefore, the government will continue to make strategically implemented improvements.

“I am satisfied that things are being done in the interest of the security of the prison, and I am also satisfied that things are being done to improve the conditions within the prison walls. More can be done, more will be done, but it’s being done in a structured fashion to make sure that we deal with this matter effectively.

“We can’t build a new prison at this particular point in time; the world economy makes that a problem. So, what we’re doing is to fix what we have as best as we can to make certain that we meet the minimum standards of the international regulations and stipulations for prisons,” Benjamin continued.

Meanwhile, the prison officers have said that they intend to continue their protest until a commitment is given to resolve their issues.

They are also now demanding an audience with Prime Minister Gaston Browne in which they can air their grievances.

Their list of concerns includes receiving a promised raise in pay, an immediate improvement in the overall cleanliness of the institution, including its bathroom facilities. They also have complained about how senior members of the prison’s hierarchy treat them.

There also seem to be tensions between the prison officers and the police who have been called in to beef up security at the institution after an alarming increase in contraband items.

The prison officers have accused the police of being rude and difficult to work with.

In recent months, items including mobile phones, drugs, and other illegal items have been found in the possession of inmates and some corrections officers who were discovered smuggling the contraband into the 287-year-old prison.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. This government is a disgrace. They don’t build anything. They don’t maintain anything. They were to build a new prison years ago, nothing happened. They were to build a new cemetery years ago, nothing happened. They were to rebuild Fiennes, nothing happened. They were to finish the car park, nothing happened. Now their old folks home and mental hospital are overrun with bedbugs, roaches and flies. Bodies waiting for autopsies are rotting in coolers because of lack of electricity. What has the government done with all the tax and CIP money they collected? Plus all the borrowed funds in their eight years in office?
    I will tell Antiguans continue to vote for this government and see if they do anything to improve the conditions in Antigua. They are a wotless, greedy set of people who are only interested in deals if something is in there for them.
    We deserve a better country and believe the government we have now is not interested in cleaning up the stinking gutters in St. John’s and the rest of the country.
    Listening to Gaston on his radio station, they seem to be more interested in whether Harold smoke marijuana or whether he can get Spanish women. Most intelligent Antiguans are tired of the clown show.

  2. When I survey The Wadadliie CROSs
    The Severed Head of Liberators
    The Riches Gained
    All But LOST
    The POOOR contented.
    Foolish Pride…
    Two Black Birds
    Like Peter & Paul
    Eradicate. ALL

  3. The prime minister Made a public statement that last week that the ABLP has LOTS of MONEY to SPEND and he may need extra time to spend it- that was in regards to the election date. Why doesn’t the government spend some of that money and put in a proper toilet at HMP; or is the money the government has Only for the purpose of buying votes?

  4. It certainly can’t take that much money to build proper toilets and bathrooms for the officers at HMP. A care they don’t care about nobody. Keep on voting for them and see if anything improves. How disgraceful that officers have to leave HMP to relieve themselves at public washrooms. I say and I will say again, this government does nothing to improve the lives of Antiguans.
    They will say the protesters are UPP people. Prove it. Are only UPP people who recognize filth. What happen to labour supporters? They all live in Pointe and Villa where filth is common place?

  5. But you still have POLITICAL WHORES like Sideline, Just Saying, Dave Ray, and others who defend this inadequate, inept, good for nothing, so & so poor excuse for a government. I cry for the state of affairs in my little country.

  6. Ya damn fat overweight bozo is now you have mouth to chat? Go find who kidnap and human traffic Mehul Choksi to Dominica unless you and your cohorts involved with all that.

    Up to now you have nothing to say about the kidnapping and execution of Nigel Christian. You and your cohorts involved with that too?

  7. I know some ministers who are quick to give woman money to purchase cars and houses in return for vagina they can bearly stand firm in without taking enhancement pills because half a them penis don’t work. So you see where their interests lie? Not in country but self enrichment and hairy banks 😂😂

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