2

Minister Outlines 'Bleak State Of Prison'

photo

Dr Bernard Nottage

By DANA SMITH

dsmith@tribunemedia.net

NATIONAL Security Minister Dr Bernard Nottage outlined a bleak situation at the nation's prison following an extended "bird's eye view" tour of the facility.

At a press conference at Her Majesty's Prison, Fox Hill, Dr Nottage said he was pleased by some changes, but there are still problems that need to be addressed such as unsanitary working conditions and prisoner overcrowding.

"I was here before in a ministerial capacity, about six years ago or so, and I am pleased to see that there have been many physical changes," he said.

Dr Nottage named the introduction of "many innovative programmes" in education and the installation of remand courts within the prison as all being "very helpful."

"But there are some problems which I've been exposed to this morning in terms of accommodation, in terms of overcrowding - which is really no longer acceptable," he said.

"The very large number of persons who are on remand are far in excess of those who are actually sentenced and incarcerated as a result of that.

"And to note that in spite of the electronic monitoring - which enables additional people to get bail, the overcrowding hasn't gotten better."

Dr Nottage noted he saw up to six prisoners in a cell designed for two leaving some to "virtually sleep on the floor."

"It is a very sober feeling for me, walking around the prison and seeing all these black young men, hail and hardy, being warehoused - is the best word I could use for it,

"I'm sure the superintendent wouldn't like me to say that of his prison - but it's what I see," he said.

Because of the number of prisoners, Dr Nottage emphasised the importance of the government's focus on crime prevention.

"The truth of the matter is, the prison is not a good reflection on our society," he said.

"What I mean by that is we have to create a society in which young people who have potential also have ambition and a system of values by which they guide their lives - Christian values, if you like - but even if not Christian, a positive belief in something."

He said it's not a problem that can be fixed "quickly" but the government's crime agenda is "geared towards not incarcerating people but trying to prevent crimes."

The chairman of the Police Staff Association, Gregory Archer, accompanied Dr Nottage on the tour and "very forcefully pointed out many of the inadequacies" in the officer's working conditions.

"They have serious sanitation problems, shortage of staff, (and) the superintendent has asked us to provide another 50 officers. But when I see the situation in which these officers work, I just wonder if even that is enough," Dr Nottage said.

In addition to being understaffed and overcrowded, the prison still lacks running water during certain times - though Mr Archer noted the problem is being worked on - and the roof of the maximum security facility needs a $600,000 roof repair.

"But the good news is that we have in our establishment here officers that are doing their best, that are seeking to provide opportunities to these young people so that they could be rehabilitated," Dr Nottage said. "The remand system seems to be working very well - very modern, they've got a very modern health-care facility in the maximum security area... so it isn't all bad. I think that Dr (Elliston) Rahming runs a very progressive institution and I want to congratulate him for it.

"We will bring all those things that need to be brought to the attention of the government and we will try as much as we can to provide for these matters to be addressed," he said.

Comments

B_I_D___ 8 years ago

Well that's OK, because they are going to repeal the laws that locked up a bunch of those criminals and turn them free anyways...so the prison will soon be empty and the criminals will rule the streets...even more than they do now.

0

1plpgovernment 8 years ago

Ok, let me get this right, AG Allyson Maynard wants to implement swift justice and put away these criminals fast, DPM Brave Davis and the cool PM-PC wants to repeal some of the crime laws, and now Minisiter of national security Bain town boy wants to have a greater outflow of criminals from the prison because he feels disheartened in the conditions they are living in. OK OK OK OK , it all makes sense now. These people are in jail for -Robbing people at gun and knife point -Raping women, children ( and lately boy children) -Murdering people because of stupidity and jealousy -Selling drugs and guns and all these other things causing these problems and a bunch of other dumb %&#@

These are Bahamians too, who although disrespect the law, the land and people, we Believe that we must have compassion and let us law abiding citizens live in fear.

Got it. PLP All they way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

3

Rontom 8 years ago

Reason One on why a physician can not and should not be Min. of National Security. Oh, the humanity!

0

242 8 years ago

exactly he too compassionate....or he want certain nephews n god sons n good boys who never do notin cuz they is so n so who he know long time son dem out

0

Shirley 8 years ago

Pack those criminals in there like sardines. Make them very uncomfortable, then maybe they might change their ways. Fox Hill Prison is just that - a prison, not a hotel.

0

perspective 8 years ago

THE STATE OF THE COUNTRY IS BLEAK WITH THIS GOVERNMENT IN POWER.

INCREASINGLY THE FACADE OF COMPETENCE PRESENTED IN THE PLP CAMPAIN RHETORIC IS NOW CRUMBLING IN TO THE REALITY THAT THEY ARE TRULY INEPT AT RUNNING THIS COUNTRY.

DR. NOTTAGE IS YET TO OUTLINE A CONCRETE PLAN TO ADDRESS CRIME IN THE COUNTRY......ALL THEY OFFER ARE MEANINGLESS SLOGANS....OPERATION THIS AND OPERATION THAT........ COMPLETE BUFFOONERY.

NOW DR. NOTTAGE'S FIRST CONCRETE PLAN AGAINST CRIME......REPEAL THE LAWS THAT KEEP CRIMINALS INCARCERATED........AS HE RESPONDS TO HIS CONSTITUENTS WHO THEMSELVES CONSTITUTE A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF THE CRIMINAL POPULATION.

1

bookiedread 8 years ago

Dr. Nottage seems more concerned about those criminals in prison than serenity on the streets of New Providence. When he and the other MP's go to their luxury homes, there are some of us who live in these areas where gunshots can be heard at all hours of the night. Young men through every corner selling and smoking drugs. These men don't want to work and are more comfortable committing crimes. I live in a real world but Dr. Nottage obviously doesn't. It's better for them to live like sardines than for decent people to suffer from their criminal acts.

3

notsogullible 8 years ago

Fellow bloggers, let's watch and see - might it be that Uncle Nottage has so many election campaign promises to fulfill that he has to let all them people good son's out of Fox Hill to pay back for the votes?

0

notsogullible 8 years ago

I don't see TalRussel weighing in on this one - he/she so busy worrying about whether HAI is coming back - he/she's on those other stories commenting on issues he/she has no knowledge about - why isn't he/she commenting on about how the PLP is getting set to deliver this country straight into the pits of hell?

1

notsogullible 8 years ago

Ronton and 242 - I think yall missed it with the compassion and humanity characterization of Uncle Nottage - its simpler than that - its the PLP way, pander to the ignorance, turn the whole country into a ghetto and then all the grass roots will continue to vote PLP because they love slackness and they are at home wallowing in the crime infested mud - so to have the ENTIRE country in that state is just PERFECT for the PLP and their agenda to stuff their pockets while they give the grass roots masses $500 per vote.

2

Rontom 8 years ago

(rolling over with side-busting laughter) You might be right, and as much as I feel that the PLP is on the left of competency and good governance, for the sake of this country I hope that my fears are wrong.

0

242 8 years ago

LoL actually that make sense..I think thats how it was in 80s

0

leeza 8 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

notsogullible 8 years ago

I'm in total aggreement with you Leeza.

0

Rontom 8 years ago

I did a bit of research to find precedence for my proposed Anti-Terrorist Law and found something similar and more applicable to address our crime problems in The Bahamas: In The UK its called The Antisocial Behaviour Act and it really works. With the use of CCTV and local district officers, it addresses, public nuisance, public drunkardness, spray painting, repeated criminal behaviour, illegal weaponry, crack-houses, noise in the neighbourhood. I invite you to visit http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2...">http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2... and support my effort to a get similar legislation passed and enforced here

0

notsogullible 8 years ago

Goo job ronton ... I'm reviewing

0

notsogullible 8 years ago

Man, where's TalRussell - this is some good stuff!!!!

1

notsogullible 8 years ago

Pleasant and intelligent conversation!!!!!!!!!!!!

1

Rontom 8 years ago

See, whenever, we remove party politics from the forefront, what remains are The ISSUES. We can solve this CRIME problem within 6 months. Part of governance includes the citizens lobbying on their OWN behalf.

1

Bril 8 years ago

Right, so only the PLP attracts criminals? Bahamians really don't know how to analyze things. The party politics is rank in the air all the time. No objectivity what so ever. All we see on these blogs is notsogumble and Tal Russell running on about party politics. No solutions and sensible points of discussion. Be more concerned about your own households than what the minister said. Meanwhile its your son or daughter peddling weed and about the streets like small time hustlers.

Furthermore criticism of a government that has been in for less than 3 weeks is really unfounded. Our political maturity has to grow in this place. Only the empty vessels in these parties are around still battling in the streets over party politics. People with common sense don't run on and wish ill of their own government.

0

notsogullible 8 years ago

I see you are now a member of the club; hope you paid double fees for your level of hypocrisy!!!!!!!!!!

1

Bril 8 years ago

You hear a few words here and there and use them to sound like you have some sense. I invite you please let me know where the hypocrisy lies in my comments? I would gladly acknowledge it. Anyone who has seen many of my posts on this site would know that I'm highly critical of both parties. I call it as I see it. Even my friend 'ConcernedCitizen' who can be highly partisan would agree that many of my comments are clear cut, no bull. But yah see of the two major parties the FNM likes to play blameless. Nothing is ever their problem its only the PLP or somebody else who is at fault. Cowards they are.

0

concernedcitizen 8 years ago

bril you are right i can be partisan ,not so much for party,but for leader ,i did not vote FNM when they ran tommy ,,,i try to keep an open mind ,because nobody has all the solutions ....there are some PLP mps i respect and i want the best for my country ..i am not happy with some of PM PGC choices and time will either prove me right or wrong ,,,and yes i liked HAI we have a democracy and our free to support who we like and should be able to do it with out becoming insulting..

1

Bril 8 years ago

That's exactly the thing CC. Many of the folks love to come here and just insult. No clear arguments for or against policies. As I've said before CC and you would know, from our previous discussions. I am not comfortable with all the cabinet appointments either. I think I am more critical of the PLP than most people on here and I'm a party supporter. But I have to be and I encourage FNMs to do the same with their party. My overarching position on these forums is to really get Bahamians to be more fair and sensible in their assessment of things. When the PLP screwed up the last time I was the first to say they deserved to lose. But what bothers me is that people from both these parties refuse to be honest with themselves and others. We know some dodgy things go down in both the PLP and the FNM. But the FNM loves to say its a scandal free government and party. Anyway, all I'm saying is that whichever party you support we need to be their touhest critics. We can't just sit back and defend everything the upper ranks of the party throw at us. I'm going to keep my people's feet to the fire. Will you?

0

leeza 8 years ago

The reality is that th PLP has much mor questionable characters on their frontline than the FNM or the DNA. Take a survey and you will find out that more than 70% of the males in prison claim to be supporters of the Progressive Liberal Party thats just the way it is.

2

woodhouse 8 years ago

No doubt the sales of flat screen TVs will increase as well as other luxury items on their way to the prison to make life easier for those hard done by criminals , paid for of f course by hard working honest Bahamians. Mike

0

Rontom 8 years ago

Okay, How about channelling this force to petition HOA for a anti-terrorist Law/anti-social behaviour law. This is possible people. Let's stay in the moment

0

Sign in to comment