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Max Security Built For 200 Holds 1,000

The Department of Correctional Services at Fox Hill.

The Department of Correctional Services at Fox Hill.

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

THE Bahamas Department of Correctional Services is over-populated, understaffed and underfunded, however Acting Commissioner of Corrections Charles Murphy yesterday insisted the facility’s performance was up to par.

Revealing that the department was using aspects of its new BAMSI-led agriculture initiative to “subsidise” portions of its budget, Commissioner Murphy said the facility is presently over-crowded.

According to numbers he presented, the maximum-security section of the facility, built to house around 200 inmates, currently sleeps over 1,000.

Commissioner Murphy said the department’s population has ballooned to over 1,700 inmates overall.

When asked how officers were being equipped to handle the swell in numbers, Commissioner Murphy admitted that while there are some challenges, his staff complement has been up to the task and making do with the numbers they currently have.

“We just had a reorganising of our staff to complement or to manage the population in the housing unit as much as we are able to do with the manpower (we have),” he said.

Moreover, Commissioner Murphy also revealed that some 54 officers are currently being trained, and once the training has been completed, it is the department’s intention to immediately move them into active duty throughout several of the department’s housing units.

The response prompted further questions from reporters over the officer-to-inmate ratio at the facility, however Commissioner Murphy maintained that aspects of how his officers were positioned could not be made public.

“On any given time, we have the complement of officers to manage our security systems,” he said.

Then when pressed for more details, he added: “There are some things I will not disclose to the media.”

“It will suffice to say that, at any given time, we have sufficient manpower, we seek to get sufficient manpower to ensure that security measures are met.”

When asked by The Tribune if the issues of overcrowding and lack of adequate funding was affecting the aspects of the facility’s operations, Commissioner Murphy would only say: “Yes, I would think so.”

The BDCS introduced vocational initiatives this fall in partnership with both BAMSI and the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI).

To date at the facility, 40 inmates have enrolled in the BAMSI scheme, while another 113 inmates have started the initial course in the BTVI scheme.

Comments

bogart 9 months ago

SHEN WAS THIS OVERCROWDING DOSCOVERED.....??.....Security facility built for 200 persons ..now .holding ....1,000...inmates...??? was it somewhere around... 201.....persons ??.??.....

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John 9 months ago

Like the hospital and other essential facilities, government may never have sufficient funds to build a new prison from scratch. But operating in its present state the prison is actually a college for criminals, where persons with minor offenses get to interact and 'lear from' hardened criminals. The government needs to set out a five, ten and twenty year for the prison, based on the current criminal trends and expected inmate populations over those periods. It can then prioritize a build-out plan where construction is ongoing over a period of years and the most urgent facilities are constructed or remodeled first. One should not forget that everyone on the prison compound is not an inmate and there should be some level of comfort and security for those who work there or even visit.

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ThisIsOurs 9 months ago

They had enough to buy a worthless hotel they had enough to build a prison. What they don't have is leadership and planning. As DAguilar requested, they're just "doing stuff". On the fly

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TigerB 9 months ago

I hope those who plan to visit read this, I mean visit after being convicted or being remanded...

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CaptainCoon 9 months ago

precisely why we need a death penalty again. get the numbers down.

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sheeprunner12 9 months ago

Time has long past to put maximum security prison on an isolated cay ......... like Alcatraz

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TheMadHatter 9 months ago

People seem to forget that every prisoner was once a cute little newborn baby.

I guess over time the memory of hardened Christians tends to fade.

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John 9 months ago

Well least you forget Jacob fought with his brother Esau while still in the mother’s womb. And when Esau was being birthed first, Jacob grabbed on to his heel. And later on he stole Esau’s birth right. And then he wrestled with God. And to who was it God said, ‘I hated you from you was in your mother’s womb.’

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bogart 9 months ago

ALL DESE BAHAMIANS ...HAVE RIGHTS NOT TO BE INCARCERATED....UNDA DESE......HORRIBLE CONDITIONS.....,!!!!......Grouper has Rights...Crawfish has Rights....Potcake Dogs has Rights....on cruel treatments....WHERE IS DA MASSIVE... OUTCRY....RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION...INHUMANITY TO PRISONERS....????....Whey is da... LAYWERS ....Lawuers Association...??......OUTRAGE SEEING DERE CLIENTS .HOUSED UNDER THESE CONDITIONS....,!!....WHAT IS THE JUDICIARY BEEN SAYING....KNOWING DIS WHERE THEY BEEN LEGALLY SENDING THESE PEOPLE.....??....WHY HAS NOT ALL THE CHURCH PEOPLE VISITING...SUNDAYS......?.....THESE LOCKED IP HUMAN BEINGS ....NOT BEEN COMPLAINING....? Tens of millions of dollars spending on BASEBALL Park....HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS POURED INTO.... GOVTBANK wid private shareholders....Corporations....STATE Funerals....while BAHAMIANS put by same STATE...INTO dese hellish overcrowded places.human dedgradion....inhumanity....an...an...an...da MPs....looking up at these people family faces from dere families paying for CONSTITUEMCY OFFICES....muddoes...1,700 ..???...squeezing into 200...!!!

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