In an effort to curb massive expenditure to ferry water to the Carrera Island prison for use by prisoners and prison officers, Government has taken a decision to build a desalination plant.
Yesterday, Commissioner of Prisons William Alexander said the desalination plant will alleviate several issues experienced by prisoners who complain bitterly of chronic water shortage. He said although there are tanks at the prison facility, whenever the pumps break down, prisoners and prison officers suffer.
Alexander confirmed that contractors provide water which is taken to the prison on a barge and this is costing government millions. A desalination plant which will process and convert sea water for human use. Commissioner Alexander also said that he welcomes a decision to introduce more video conferencing to deal with the high backlog of court cases.
There are two video conferencing centres at the women’s prison in Golden Grove, one at the Remand Yard section of Golden Grove and two in Port-of-Spain.
Commissioner Alexander said yesterday it appears there was a decrease in the amount of money allocated to the Prison Service in the 2018 budget but he added the service will try and make do with its share of the pie given the country’s current economic woes.
“The more lawless the society becomes, the more there is a need for opportunities for the inmates to be rehabilitated. We know however that the country is facing an economic downturn, we know we have to make certain sacrifices. There are some things we would want to do but we will have to do it at a later date.
“So by maximising the use of what is provided for use and with the efforts of the officers, and all those persons who assist us in the prison, for example the NGOs and others, we know we could carry out our functions,” Commissioner Williams said. He also pointed out that the issue of overcrowding at the Remand Section in Golden Grove continues to be a big headache with over 1,000 prisoners housed there when it was built to accommodate 600.
Williams said that by next year remand prisoners will have spanking new toilet facilities which will eliminate the decades old pail bucket system and make conditions more humane for the inmates.