Prisons Commissioner William Alexander yesterday confirmed that a prison officer was attacked and beaten with a piece of iron by a prisoner on Wednesday at the Eastern Correctional Rehabilitation Centre in Santa Rosa, Arima. The attack came as prisoners broke pipe fittings, damaged toilets and attempted to rip out the ceiling at the facility in protest over not being taken to court for their cases.
Commissioner Alexander yesterday met with the 82 inmates, some of whom have been deemed ‘high risk’, to give them an opportunity to air their grievances with him.
On Wednesday, a remand prisoner who was not taken to court because police officers failed to show, began vandalising the cell where he is housed by breaking pipe fittings and the toilet. Sources revealed that another prisoner also tried to rip off tiles from the ceiling. A prison supervisor tried to subdue the prisoner who grabbed a length of metal pipe and beat him.
Other prison officers intervened and the inmate was subdued. He sustained a hairline fracture to his leg while being subdued and was taken to hospital for treatment. Other prisoners claim the prisoner suffered the injury as a result of a savage beating at the hands of prison officers.
Commissioner Alexander confirmed that the prison supervisor suffered injuries to his abdomen and that a prisoner suffered a hairline fracture. He said that the matter was now under investigation. Alexander said that despite his busy schedule, he decided to visit the facility yesterday to speak to the prisoners.
“I spoke with all of them and I told them to let me know what their grievances were, I told them not to exaggerate their situation, to come clean with me and I will do my best to sort out their complaints,” Alexander said. He added that most complaints were about the need for more airing out time, a request for more silent fans and cleaner cells.
Alexander said others complained of being incarcerated too far from their families who live in Port of Spain and West Trinidad. He promised these prisoners to try and have them transferred to the city prison.