Following a series of incidents and protest action by prisoners at the Golden Grove State Prison, the Honourable Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, has appointed a special committee to investigate and address issues emanating from both prison officers and prisoners themselves.
The Prime Minister said she had been personally monitoring the on-going situation at the Golden Grove State Prison and stated that she was deeply concerned over recent and continuing developments related to the prison and to the situation in general.
The situation escalated recently with the killing of off-duty prisons officer, Andy Rogers, on November 6 at Malabar.
The Prime Minister also met two months ago with representatives of the Prisons Officers Association to hear their concerns, which included a call for prisons officers to be given firearms while off-duty, and for them to be afforded houses.
The Prime Minister has also been advised that some of the urgent issues presented included concerns about overcrowding in prisons, a lack of available transportation to court, no airing or recreation time for prisoners, and the cancellation of visitation rights of families and friends.
The committee consists of the following persons:
1) Professor Ramesh Deosaran- Chairman
2) The Commissioner of Prisons- Mr. Martin Martinez
3) Inspector of Prisons- Mr. Daniel Khan
4) Minister of National Security- Senator the Honourable Gary Griffith
5) Minister of Justice- Senator the Honourable Emmanuel George
6) Commissioner of Police – Mr. Stephen Williams
7) Attorney at law, Mr. Wayne Sturge
8) A representative of the Prison Population.
9) General Secretary of the Prisons Officers’ Association – Mr. Gerard Gordon.
The Committee falls under the remit of the Ministry of Justice. The first meeting is tentatively fixed for Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair.
Mrs. Persad-Bissessar said she hopes this Committee would bring the crisis at Golden Grove to a speedy resolution.
November 18, 2013