Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 14, 2022 (SKNIS): In recent years, the management at Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) has crafted a number of policies and programmes to better ensure the safety of prisoners and prison workers.
During the April 13, 2022 edition of SKNIS’s ‘Working For You’, Sergeant Eric Rochester of HMP spoke about a number of ways the institution has been working to reform the prison’s security apparatus more effectively.
“Some of the things we do are surveillance with the cameras. We must have cameras out there to playback and see what is happening within the prison. We look at where we were, where we are right now and how we can plan going forward in the future. Also, we place officers after they have been trained in different departments. For example, we have line officers who deal with the daily routine of the prisoners who sometimes come back and bring information to the officers such as identifying gang members and any sign of confrontation. We go back to the drawing board and investigate further and segregate persons for security purposes,” said Sergeant Rochester.
HMP has seen a drastic reduction in repeat offenders over recent years thanks in part to the work done in reforming prisoners to contribute meaningfully to society and the Alternative Pathway Programme introduced by the Team Unity administration.
Sergeant Rochester further outlined other ways that the prison service is working to create a better environment within the prison population with reduced incidences of violence and prisoner conflict.
“We post officers in places that they must stay at all times unless they are being relieved. We also send officers on training abroad in places such as Barbados, Virginia and Colorado, etc and when they come back they enhance us with what they learned, where we hold meetings and learn about better training techniques. We have Control and Restraint training (C&R), we also do cell extraction et cetera. But mainly, we focus on identifying the different gangs and segregating them for the benefit of everyone within the prison,” said Sergeant Rochester.
The Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 of Saint Christopher and Nevis was put in place to assist persons released from prison who have minor offenses on their record to reintegrate into society.