A self-supporting prison is a concept that Harold Lovell, Political Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP), hopes will become a reality under a UPP Administration.
Lovell envisions that His Majesty’s Prison could become a production hub for goods and crafts made by inmates, as happens in other parts of the world. In this way, he says, the penal facility could help to support itself.
Under a UPP Administration, he says, a training facility would be set up for inmates, with the goal of them becoming entrepreneurs after having served their sentences.
Meanwhile, speaking about the conditions that forced a number of prison officers into a vocal protest on Monday, Lovell says he wants to see a total reform of the institution.
This will include not only the construction of a new corrections facility, but modern management of the way incarceration is handled.
The Political Leader admits that he was appalled to hear the challenges faced by the staff and, in some instances, the inmates at His Majesty’s Prison.
However, he notes that some of these issues are not unique to “1735” – as the Prison is commonly called – but are prevalent in other government departments, including the Fiennes Institute and the Clarevue Psychiatric Hospital, where workers have also downed tools.
Accordingly, Lovell promises that a UPP Administration would address these issues as a matter of urgency, improving conditions for employees.
He also acknowledges that the current condition of the Prison negatively impacts those serving time and even persons on remand. Those sent to the penal facility should be treated better than what now obtains, he says.
Meanwhile, because of new rules at the Prison, the complaining officers are being accused of taking industrial action.
Notwithstanding this, they insist that they are facing unsanitary conditions in the slow removal of garbage and solid waste; a lack of functional toilets; inconsistent running water; no drinking water; having only one working phone; and having to work multiple shifts but not being provided with meals.
The Prison, according to the officers, is grossly understaffed, with a ratio of 20 inmates to one officer. As a result, they say, they are overwhelmed to the point of being unable to function properly.
The officers have denied that their action is political.