The Tobago Correctional Facility at Montessori Drive, Glen Road in Scarborough will be shut down immediately, said THA Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis.
In a press release on Thursday evening, Dennis said having met with the residents, he immediately spoke with Minister of National Security Stuart Young requesting that the facility, which he said was unoccupied, should be closed immediately.
According to the release: “Minister Young also agreed and subsequently acceded to the Chief Secretary’s request and the recommendation to make alternative arrangements.”
Earlier in the afternoon, Dennis held a meeting with over 50 irate residents via Zoom, where they voiced their displeasure about lack of representation and discussion prior to the decision to place the facility in their area. They reiterated their demand that the facility be removed from their neighbourhood. Dennis had previously apologised to the residents over the lack of consultation, which they refused to accept.
Residents said the prison, which formerly housed the THA Department of Fisheries, creates a security threat which has left senior citizens in the area feeling uneasy.
Dennis noted in the meeting that the facility would only be occupied by low-risk inmates and would be used as a "community prison."
He asked if there were any "reasonable adjustments” that could be done at the facility that would make them residents more comfortable, but the residents said no.
Dennis promised to have further discussions with the Minister of National Security Stuart Young.
He added, “Rest assured that I have listened to all your challenges and fears, and as Chief Secretary I will take the necessary and appropriate actions.”