Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
A probe into the marijuana-and-alcohol-laced party staged by prisoners at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre in Kingston last December has ended with a recommendation that disciplinary action be taken against a number of correctional officers.
Commissioner of Corrections Lieutenant Colonel Sean Prendergast yesterday declined to say exactly how many correctional officers have been implicated, but said the actions recommended by the investigators include dismissals.
"They (the investigators) have collected statements and we are going to provide all of it to the Office of the Services Commission. Their legal officers will look it through and decide what cases they are going to proceed with," Prendergast disclosed.
"The good thing is that the investigation is complete and we are going to take it to the next step now," he added.
The commission is expected to receive the file today.
Along with the case file, Prendergast said he would also make "certain recommendations" to the commission on whether the officers implicated should be sent on leave pending the outcome of the disciplinary process.
"But (the) Services (Commission) will make that determination," he said.
The investigation, which was conducted by the Inspectorate in the Ministry of National Security, lasted several months and among the evidence gathered by investigators were a number of statements provided by inmates.
In explaining his refusal to say how many correctional officers are facing disciplinary action, Prendergast revealed that in some cases "the evidence might not be as strong as we like".
The jailhouse party, complete with prisoners dressed in designer clothes while smoking marijuana and sipping expensive liquor, was first reported in a Sunday Gleaner exposé in February.
Officials at the Department of Correctional Services got wind of the embarrassing security breach through a cache of pictures left at a photo lab in St Andrew by a correctional officer.
Hennessy and Alizé
In the pictures, believed to have been taken by a correctional officer, prisoners were seen with bottles of Alizé, Hennessy and rum cream while puffing on marijuana cigarettes.
One correctional officer has since been dismissed for his alleged role in the staging of the party and the corrections department has taken steps to prevent a repeat of the incident.
Less than two weeks ago, Prendergast announced plans to have all 4,500 inmates and wards of the state across the entire penal system placed in uniforms.
He said inmates at the Tower Street and St Catherine adult correctional centres would be among the first to be issued with uniforms.
"We are starting with the priority institutions then rolling it out to the others," Prendergast reasoned when he made the announcement.