The completion and operationalisation of the video conferencing centre at the Golden Grove Prisons will save Government $43 million once court hearings are done by video conference between the centre and the courts.
This is according to National Security Minister Edmund Dillon who told Tuesday’s meeting of the Standing Finance Committee in the Parliament that the conferencing centre is about 70 percent to 75 percent complete.
“Once it is up and running, there would not be the requirement for prisoners to go from Golden Grove throughout Trinidad and Tobago.”
With things in place, he said, it should be on stream by the end of 2018 or before.
Meanwhile, he said, that the sum of $15 million has been allocated for food for the prison population. The inmates population on remand and convicted are 3,700.
On the reduction in the allocation for food to the Regiment and the Coast Guard, Dillon said, this was due to better management of their budgets.
Decreases in funding for food and training, he said, do not compromise their standards in any way.
In terms of the Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service (TTFS), he said, the new fire appliances that were ordered last year are due to arrive in the country this year. “We will continue to purchase more,” he said.
Asked why the TTFS allocation for all of Trinidad was $31 million, and Tobago, which is smaller in geographical size and population was $19.1 million, roughly two thirds of Trinidad’s budget, Dillon said, “It was done by needs analysis. That is the Chief Fire Officer’s remit.”