PRISON Officers assigned to the Golden Grove Maximum Security Prison acted appropriately during an exercise which led to a clash with inmates on Saturday, according to acting Prisons Commissioner Dennis Pulchan.
Speaking on Monday, Pulchan responded to allegations circulated on social media that several inmates were assaulted by prison officers without provocation on Saturday, saying his officers were attacked first and defended themselves.
Pulchan said the officers received reports that some inmates in a part of the prison were using cellphones and were attacked when they attempted to seize the phones. “We decided to adopt a no tolerance policy towards that (the use of cellphones). My officers were attacked and defended themselves.
No one was beaten to the point where anyone had to go to the hospital.
“How can you retaliate when you are the one who is wrong for having the cellphone? My officers have to do their jobs and we are in the process of taking as many phones and contraband as possible from within the prison so there will be inmates who will resist the officers but the officers have their jobs to do.”
Pulchan also said he supported all of his prison officers in taking the necessary action to prevent the use of prohibited items from behind bars.
A media release issued on Saturday by the Islamic Front alleged that eight inmates were beaten by 150 masked prison guards early on Saturday morning.
The release also alleged that the assault was linked to the murder of prison officer Sherwin Francis, who was shot dead at his Chaguanas home hours before on Friday night.