Minister Caines Addresses Westgate Concerns

July 1, 2018

Saying he has been made aware of concerns at Westgate, Minister of National Security Wayne Caines said it is his desire to “ensure that we have a strong plan” and address the concerns, and also noted that they have fifteen new officers starting tomorrow.

Minister Caines said, “Most recently I have been made aware of concerns at the Westgate Correctional Facility. Last week I met with the Acting Commissioner of Corrections and her team and put together a strategy to address the issues.

“I would have shared that plan with the Chair of the Prison Officers Association but he did not attend the meeting, when he agreed to do so.

“It is always my desire, as the Minister with responsibility for the Department of Corrections, to ensure that we have a strong plan with regard to maintaining our Corrections Facilities, as well as addressing the concerns of all Corrections staff and the welfare of the inmates.

“I meet with the Acting Commissioner of Corrections on a regular basis. We have a robust plan and will continue to update it to ensure that our Corrections Officers are working in the safest environment possible.

“My door is always open to the POA, and I am disappointed that they did not raise these matters with me first, particularly since we have had two previous meetings aimed at building on their suggestions and recommendations.

“We are also aware of inmates’ concerns, and earlier this week we met with the Ombudsman and the Chairperson of the Treatment of Offenders Board to ensure that inmates are treated humanely; that they are aware of all the tools, services and options available to them; and that their concerns are addressed in a timely manner.

“From a building and maintenance standpoint, as the public can appreciate, the Westgate Correctional Facility was built in 1994 and as with most older structures, over time there is a need to properly maintain the building.

“I can confirm that we have employed a Facilities Management Consultant who will focus on addressing issues with the physical plant. We plan to conduct a comprehensive structural review of all Corrections facilities which will include a plan and a timeline for Corrections Building repairs in the very near future.

“Regarding manpower, while the Department of Corrections is down 39 basic officers but I can confirm that we have 15 new basic officers starting tomorrow, Monday, July 2, essentially boosting our ranks. Further recruitment will continue over the coming months.

“Lastly, I am aware that our Corrections Officers work in challenging circumstances, I will continue to work with the Acting Commissioner, the Senior Leadership team and the Prison Officers Association to ensure that the Department of Corrections and all its facilities are safe, secure, and measure up to international standards and best practice and are fit for purpose.

“Regarding the GEHI matters raise by the Chairman of the Prison Officers Association we cannot speak to that as this is currently part of ongoing discussions between the POA and the Public Service Negotiating Team. “

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Comments (13)

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  1. Redrose says:

    Lots of mentions of plans, but no mention of what the plan/s is/are

    • Wahoo says:

      The base are happy to hear that the plp have plans.

  2. cpm says:

    PLP Have plans about plans about plans

  3. puzzled says:

    Nothing wrong with the structures; nothing.
    It’s the structure of the keepers.

    Namaste’

  4. I and I says:

    Sometimes one has to stop talking over people and listen to what they are really saying .

  5. Prisoners can do painting surely…and will your at it have the bus depot have a maintenance prisoners of non violent good behaviour vocational training program.
    BTW, the buses need antifreeze in each air conditioned vehicle…
    This is why their overheating.
    Presently…their lucky if they get tap water.

  6. Mother Theresa says:

    Blah, blah, blah Caines….

  7. frank says:

    Where is The commissioner .
    .

  8. frank says:

    Where is the commissioner gone to

  9. frank says:

    It is about time that police and prison officers pay their own dam health insurance like other government staff
    .

  10. Steamy says:

    The suspicion arises that The Hon. Minister offers only hot air.

  11. gustav says:

    how many officers do we need for 125 people in prison ?
    solution :
    1 for holding their hands
    1 for bringing them the food
    1 for entertaining
    1 for body care
    1 in reserve

    so , we need in Total 625 correction officers for this 125 inmates.
    Bermuda is another World

    • Smdh says:

      Clearly you have no idea on how the prison system works. We do we have another prison facility aside from west gate. Plus high risk prisoners etc. But an ignorant person won’t understand that.