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Correctional officers, recruits to be polygraphed in prison corruption clampdown

Published:Tuesday | February 28, 2017 | 12:00 AM
A car drives by as a woman walks past the Tower Street Adult Correctional facility

The National Security Ministry has announced that all correctional officers and recruits are to be polygraphed as part of new measures aimed at cutting the smuggling of cell phones and other contraband into correctional facilities.

The announcement coincides with increasing concern about the recording of music by inmates in maximum security facilities.

In recent weeks, the police have also reported that prisoners have been directing murders from behind bars.

State Minister for National Security Pearnel Charles Jnr says arising from several high-level security meetings, a system-wide security assessment will also be implemented to strengthen the internal controls in all institutions.

"What now exists is a dysfunctional system, where we have to contend with contraband entering our correctional facilities and the allegations of complicity of our staff in this matter," Charles said.

He says the situation poses a potential threat to national security and to efforts to redefine and transform the Department of Correctional Services.

Other key security measures for prisons:

*Amendments to existing legislation, regulations and procedures to increase accountability and enforcement.
*The installation of X-Ray Scanning Machines at Tower Street and St Catherine Adult Correctional Centres and the Horizon Adult Remand Centre
*Metal detectors
*New entry management protocols
*Relocation of inmates
*Re-zoning spaces in all institutions
*Expanded CCTV coverage across the correctional system
*Enhanced use of cellular phone jamming technology