US Ambassador Joseph Mondello has donated counterfeit currency detection machines, riot gear kits and computer hardware to the Prison Service.
In a media release, the US Embassy said the counterfeit currency detection machines will be used to check the legitimacy of currency and cheques presented by criminal defendants or their representatives seeking bail as part of the Bail Reform Act of 2017.
The riot gear kits were given to the Prison Service's Emergency Response Unit whose officers recently attended a US Department of State-sponsored mock prison riot training exercise in West Virginia. The computer hardware will host software that will allow the service to better identify and track criminal networks active in the prisons.
The donation was made through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, utilising funding from the US Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.
Mondello said the US was pleased to maintain its long-standing support to the Prison Service as it continues to modernise its operations to protect society and facilitate opportunities for rehabilitation, while maintaining control under safe, secure and humane conditions.
The embassy said it is pleased to play a role in enhancing the ability of the Prison Service not only to respond to emergencies, but also to track criminal networks which aid detainees' illegal activities from behind prison walls. The handover to Prisons Commissioner Gerard Wilson took place last week at the Prison Service’s administrative offices in Port of Spain.