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Commission of Inquiry will be launched into the criminal justice system.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar

Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar has stated that a Commission of Inquiry will be launched into the criminal justice system.
She made the comments while speaking at her party’s public meeting in Barataria last night, Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar said this will help to address the delays in the system.
Preference, she said, could then be given to those prisoners in remand yard awaiting trial over those who are out on bail.
She also revealed that there will also be a review of the bail regime from the administrative and judicial levels to facilitate this process.

She recalled that in 2013 she mandated a nine-member committee, headed by Professor Ramesh Deosaran, to look into the conditions in the prisons.
She said following the recommendations, her Government provided bullet and stab proof vests for prison officers.

She said the provision of firearms to prison officers was also increased by 80 percent and Government had procured more scanners and cameras to assist with security,

The Prime Minister also reminded that prison officers are being supplied with emergency housing in instances where their lives may be at risk, as well as personal housing through the Housing Development Corporation (HDC).

She said the nation’s cells have been improved with new beds, toilets and structural upgrades.

The Prime Minister also announced that wage negotiations with all armed forces have been settled with the Chief Personnel Officer, Stephanie Lewis.

Government, officers and other armed forces put their lives at risk every day and deserves a more sustainable package.




President of the Prison Officers’ Association Ceron Richards

President of the Prison Officers’ Association (POA) Ceron Richards has stated that it is very likely that rogue officers were involved in the jail break.

Richards will be meeting with the Commissioner of Prisons today, to discuss security in the nation’s prisons.

Commenting on the deadly prison break on Friday, Richards said that officers responsible should be brought to justice and face the full brunt of the law.

On Friday July 24, 2015, the capital was the scene of a violent shootout as three persons escaped from the Port of Spain Royal Gaol, killing one police officer in the process.

He said on Monday that it is hard to believe that officers were not involved.

However he said he is fed up of the constant talks because if scanners and jammers were installed in the prisons as the POA had requested then this incident would not have happened and PC Sherman would have been alive today.
He said about 10 percent of prison officers are engaged in deals with prisoners and put hardworking colleagues at risk.

Richards said those rogue officers must be punished for the sake of other hardworking, genuine officers, and for the family of PC Sherman Maynard who was killed during the jail break.