Search to begin for prison chief

The Department of Correctional Services at Fox Hill. (File photo)

The Department of Correctional Services at Fox Hill. (File photo)


Deputy Chief Reporter


THE Ministry of National Security is preparing to advertise internationally and locally to fill the post of commissioner at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services, National Security Minister Marvin Dames told reporters yesterday.

Although he insisted it is hoped there is a Bahamian capable of the job, Mr Dames said the government wants to retain the best person possible, suggesting it was not opposed to appointing a non-Bahamian.

Patrick Wright, the most recent commissioner at BDCS, is on pre-retirement leave.

Mr Dames said: "Very shortly we will be going out and advertising for a new commissioner of the Bahamas Department of Corrections and that advertisement will go abroad as well as we will send it out locally.

"Our hope is at the end of the day we will have a Bahamian leading that institution but we're now looking for someone capable of transforming it into a modern facility hence the reason why we're looking across the globe right now for a new commissioner.

"We are trying our utmost not to get caught up in the practises of the past. We are seeking to modernise this institution. We are seeking to define persons who will fit (and) who can help us in that modernisation process. Hence this is why we are taking this particular direction," he also said.

"We hope at the end of the day we have a Bahamian leading the institution but at the end of the day we're going to look at what is best for the institution and by extension what is best for The Bahamas."

He could not give a definite timeline for the publication of the ads. However he said it is hoped it would be complete within a month's time.

Mr Dames also said the BDCS will soon undergo structural upgrades.

He said it was important officials ensured this kind of work was done to deter prisoners attempting to escape as was the case last week when guards discovered a hole in the ceiling of a maximum security cell shared by two inmates.

"Since that you know that we are dealing with a very, very aging structure and from time to time we will have certainly instances where persons would attempt, given the age of the structure, so what we have been doing since the incident is doing an assessment of the entire maximum security structure at the Bahamas Department of Corrections to ensure that there are no other breaches and that has been going extremely well."

The ministry has also completed two requests for proposals for new CCTV and drone systems - in an effort to beef up crime fighting measures. Both now need review before going before Cabinet.

Mr Dames said he was unsure of the status of a third request for proposals for police body cams, but they are in the fiscal budget for this year.

"It's just a matter of having the RFP prepared and sent out so that's very much on our agenda as well as CCTV and the drones programme to which we would have spoken about," Mr Dames said.


John 5 years, 1 month ago

So what is succession planning? Didn’t the police force send officers away on trading at one point , at least, and one went on to become commissioner. So the prison system should be no different. There should be at least three officers in the system capable of heading that institution at any given time. So is this a case of all Indians and chief soon gone? And the idea to invest in the physical structure of the prison is a good one. Not only for the inmates who are housed there, but for the officers who work there and the general public as well as persons who visit. Taking into account a murder rate in the triple digits for almost a decade, the prison is becoming filled with persons convicted of murder or on remand. To the tune of at least 60 a year. These persons are mostly under the age of 30 and looking to spend at least 40 years in that institution if they are given life sentences. So eventually, if not already, the majority of the prison population will compose of convicted murderers. Security must be the number one priority.


John 5 years, 1 month ago

But Marvin Dames may be able to find his ideal candidate for Commissioner of prisons in the United States. That country had a steadily declining prison population for almost a decade and a number of the privately operated prisons are no longer profitable, so they are closing their corporate doors and not prison cell gates. The decline in prison population was due to slight decreases in crime, convicted persons receiving shorter prison sentences and minoroties, mostly Blacks and Hispanics receiving more due process, when charged with crimes. If elected, Hillary Clinton had planned to fill these private prisons, which are owned mostly by Democrats and supporters, with gang members from Chicago, Memphis LA and other US cities. Since most of these gang bangers are poor and minorities, they stood little or no chance of getting out once thrown in jail if only on information collected from their Facebook profile. Chicago recorded its bloodiest and most deadly year in hisylast year with over 600 murders and over 3000 shootings. And while , like the Bahamas, murders are down by 20 percent this year to date, the violence and mayhem is still out of control. Chicago recently set records with 79 shootings in three days which resulted in 11 deaths. More people are killed in Chicago every year that in all the US armed forces serving around the world. Yes that bad. And President Donald Trump had at one point planned to send in troops to quiet the violence and killings that some believe are being driven by external forces.


hrysippus 5 years, 1 month ago

" private prisons, which are owned mostly by Democrats and supporters," Johnliar just makes up stuff. Do not believe anything that he posts.


John 5 years, 1 month ago

You can call me a liar, but yet you have ways less than half the credibility I have. "Who Owns Private Prisons? Most Likely, You! The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been on the receiving end of public scrutiny for its controversial holdings in America's two largest private prison companies – the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the GEO Group (GEO).Apr 3, 2015" When you research the ownership of America's private prisons, many are there are many trusts, foundations, and private companies involved. And some of the shareholders of these companies do not even know the companies they hold shares in own prisons." . "So it's not such a stretch that a Democratic donor would also be in the men-in-cages industry. The Vanguard Group and Fidelity Investments are America's top two 401(k) providers. They are also two of the private prison industry's biggest investors. Together, they own about 20 percent of both CCA and GEO.May 17, 2013"



CatIslandBoy 5 years, 1 month ago

It is about time that we begin to think and look outside of the box as we strive to move our Country forward and upward. Recruiting an experienced individual from outside of the country, with a background of solid credentials, and proven successful results, is a great idea, and may be just what Fox Hill needs. I just wish that the RBPF, RBDF, Customs, and Immigration, could do the same.


BONEFISH 5 years, 1 month ago

Some one said to me,they should advertise for a cabinet and members of parliament also.This person has been around from independence.In their view,the Christie and Minnis cabinets is setting this country back.


sealice 5 years, 1 month ago

Someone ca please put out one tender for a whole new gubmint please?


John 5 years, 1 month ago

" Many of America's prisons are run by for-profit corporations, so clearly some people are making lots and lots of money off the booming business of keeping human beings in cages. But who are these people? Using public data, I came up with some names" .."You likely already know how overcrowded and abusive the US prison system is, and you probably are also aware that the US has more people in prison than even China or Russia. In this age of privatization, of course, it's also not surprising that many of the detention centers are not actually operated by the government, but by for-profit companies. So clearly, some people are making lots and lots of money off the booming business of keeping human beings in cages. Quoted from Ray Downs:

But who are these people? Downs continues:

Using NASDAQ data, I looked through the long list of investors in Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group, the two biggest corporations that operate detention centers in the US, to find out who was cashing in the most on prisons. When we say "prison-industrial complex," this is who we're talking about.

Henri Wedell The individual who's invested the most in private prisons is Henri Wedell, who started serving on CCA's board of directors in 2000, when the company was struggling with scandals related to prisoner abuse and mismanagement. He now owns more than 650,000 shares in the company, which is far more successful these days. Those shares are worth more than $25 million.

I called Wedell to ask him what it was like to make a fortune from the incarceration of others, and whether it bothered him to profit off a system that puts more people in prison than any other country in the world.

"America is the freest country in the world," he told me. "America allows more freedom than any other country in the world, much more than Russia and a whole lot more than Scandinavia, where they really aren't free. So offering all this freedom to society, there'll be a certain number of people, more in this country than elsewhere, who take advantage of that freedom, abuse it, and end up in prison. That happens because we are so free in this country."

Presumably, when he's referring to all the freedom Americans have, he's not including the 80,000 inmates in 60 prisons operated by CCA.

George Zoley Another prison profiteer who presumably has no moral qualms about the business is George Zoley, the CEO of GEO Group and the second-biggest investor in the incarceration industry. In fact, he's so proud of his business, which has committed a laundry list of human rights abuses, he tried to get a college football stadium named after it."


John 5 years, 1 month ago

Ray Owens Contd. "Zoley made nearly $6 million last year through salary and bonuses alone, but the real money is in stocks—he owns more than 500,000 shares in GEO, and he has made $23 million in stock trades during one 18-month period. But you can't accuse him of not earning his pay, exactly. GEO saw a 56 percent spike in profits in the first quarter of 2013, and the company's executives reassured investors that the incarceration rate wouldn't be dropping any time soon when announcing its earnings. Zoley will be mega rich for years to come.Jeremy Mindich and Matt Sirovich Both Wedell and Zoley are big donors to the Republican party, but that doesn't mean those from the left side of the aisle can't play their game. Matt Sirovich and Jeremy Mindich both donate to Democratic politicians and are involved with progressive-leaning organizations like Root Capital, a nonprofit lending company that offers loans to farmers in developing countries to alleviate poverty.

Their day job, however, is running Scopia Capital, a hedge fund that is the one of the largest shareholders of GEO Group. The fund owns about $300 million in shares in that company, which represents 12 percent of its entire portfolio. Like Zoley, they are good at what they do—their fund outperformed the market by 20 percentage points, and the State of New Jersey hired Scopia to manage $150 million worth of pensions."

Call me a liar. you sheet wearing hyprocrite.@hrysippuss


Sign in to comment