Sun | May 19, 2019

Spencer announces increased security at Fort Augusta

Published:Friday | January 18, 2019 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Rudyard Spencer

Six high-risk inmates who were being housed at the Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre on South Camp Road in Kingston (FAACC) have been relocated to the Horizon Adult Remand Centre, with the aim of enhancing the security of the inmate population as well as staff at the facility.

This has been confirmed by Rudyard Spencer, state minister in the Ministry of National Security, who has responsibility for prisons.

Spencer met with officials from the Department of Correctional Services on Tuesday to address recent developments at Fort Augusta, which include last week's stabbing of an inmate by one of her cellmates. Following this, inmates took to Facebook Live multiple times to air their safety concerns.

Spencer gave an assurance that investigations were being jointly conducted by the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Independent Commission of Investigations into the assault of the inmate at the facility.

According to Spencer, additional security measures have been implemented to prevent occurrences of violent incidents and safeguard the basic rights of inmates.

"Six high-risk inmates have now been relocated. This re-classification will enhance the security of inmates and staff, and, subsequently, lower the risks of violent outbreak at FAACC."

 

ADDITIONAL STAFF

 

Following a health assessment by the institution's medical team, three inmates were diagnosed as mentally ill and placed in singular cells. Additional staff will also be deployed to reinforce the inmate-to-officer ratio.

Another security measure that will be implemented is the removal of all electric outlets on the cell blocks. Spencer said this was to prevent the charging and usage of cell phones inside the prison.

He highlighted that inmates are fed three nutritious meals daily and attempted to assure that their living conditions are sanitary.

"We deeply regret that this attack transpired and has even caused hurt to an inmate. The safety and well-being of all inmates and staff are of utmost importance. We continue to do everything in our power to ensure that the basic rights of inmates are protected," he said.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com