Prisons Commissioner on 'riot': We are still in control at prisons

Prisons Commissioner Dennis Pulchan -
Prisons Commissioner Dennis Pulchan -

Commissioner of Prisons Dennis Pulchan said despite some unrest at the Maximum Security Prison, Arouca, the prison service was still in control and prepared to take action against any disturbance.

On Wednesday several inmates set fire to mattresses and locked themselves in their cells in defiance of prison officers who tried to relocate them.

Prison sources said a number of high-profile inmates and their affiliates were transferred to the Wayne Jackson Building, commonly referred to as Building 13, during last weekend. Officials said this was done to isolate the inmates and save on resources, rather than have them spread across various prisons.

Responding to the issue at a media conference at the Ministry of National Security, Abercromby Street, Port of Spain, on Friday, Pulchan said measures were introduced to maintain order at the prison.

"When we moved the inmates we saw the broke their beds and damaged the walls similarly to what they did in March 17 last year at the remand prison. That behaviour would not be tolerated. This is the prison and we are in control.

"We removed the beds and gave them some sleeping accommodation suitable to their behaviour, we had discussions with them and we have advised them to assist us. Today is Friday and so far things seemed to be normal.

"I have heightened security throughout the prison and we are prepared for any eventuality that presents itself."

Asked if the relocation of the inmates was related to suspicions of a jailbreak, Pulchan dismissed this saying, "So far I'm aware there is no relation between what happened on Wednesday and any jailbreak.

"This has to do with some young deviants who decided to push the system. They pushed and we were able to maintain control."

He did confirm that a drone was captured at the remand prison last September.

Asked for an update of a probe into the discovery and seizure of an assault rifle, radios and explosives outside the prison in June, DCP McDonald Jacob, who also attended the press conference, said no one was held as yet but the police were cooperating with international law-enforcement partners in the enquiry.


"Prisons Commissioner on 'riot': We are still in control at prisons"

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