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Us State Department Report: Prison Conditions ‘Life-Threatening’

The Department of Correctional Services at Fox Hill.

The Department of Correctional Services at Fox Hill.

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

THE US State Department has described local prison conditions as “life-threatening” in its latest human rights report, its strongest description of prison conditions in recent times.

“Human rights issues included violence by guards against prisoners and harsh and life-threatening prison conditions,” the US report, released yesterday, said.

As has become usual, the report said conditions at the Department of Correctional Services “failed to meet international standards in some areas and were harsh due to overcrowding, poor nutrition, and inadequate sanitation and ventilation.”

“Overcrowding, poor sanitation, and inadequate access to medical care and drinking water remained problems in the men’s maximum security block. Pretrial detainee juveniles were held with adults at the Fox Hill remand centre," the report said.

“The government stated inmates consistently received three meals a day, but some inmates and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) reported inmates received only two meals per day, with a meal sometimes consisting only of bread and tea. Fresh fruit and vegetables were rare to nonexistent. Prisoners also reported infrequent access to drinking water and inability to save potable water due to lack of storage containers for the prisoners.

"Many cells also lacked running water, and in those cells, inmates removed human waste by bucket. Sanitation was a general problem, with cells infested with rats, maggots, and insects. Ventilation was also a general problem. Prisoners in maximum security had access to sanitary facilities only one hour a day and used slop buckets as toilets. Prison inmates complained about the lack of beds and bedding. As a result, inmates developed bedsores from lying on the bare ground. The availability of prescribed pharmaceuticals and access to physician care were sporadic. There was inadequate access to the men’s second floor medical centre for sick inmates or inmates with disabilities. Inmates reportedly used a wheelbarrow to transport inmates unable to walk to the clinic.”

The US said foreign male prisoners frequently reported threats and targeting by prison guards.

“For example, in September a prisoner reported that BDOC officials touched him in a sexually inappropriate manner on the shoulders and chest. The government moved the individual to a different wing of the prison while awaiting the results of an internal investigation,” the US report said.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months ago

To hell with our prison system. The U.S. government seems to have not heard that the conditions of our healthcare system are 'life-threatening'. By the way, someone tell the U.S. government we would happily transfer all of our prisoners to one of their own much more superior facilities when they get around to inviting us to do so. LMAO

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rawbahamian 7 months ago

So let the Human Rights clowns finance the prison to the 5 star facility they feel criminals should enjoy!!!

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TheMadHatter 7 months ago

Nobody is suggesting 5 star. Right now it's not even a quarter star.

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joeblow 7 months ago

Its none of their business!!

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DDK 7 months ago

EVERYTHING is their business didncha know?

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John 7 months ago

Overcrowding, poor sanitation, and inadequate access to medical care and drinking water remained problems in the men’s maximum security block. Pretrial detainee juveniles were held with adults at the Fox Hill remand centre," the report said.

Blockquote

Maybe The Bahamas can invite our good, big, friendly, big brother neighbour to the North, to sponsor a new prison. When last has the Us made a significant contribution to this country. After all, it was America's appetite for drugs that made this country a transit nation and led to the breakdown of law and order.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months ago

Spot on! For decades now all they've done is thrown us the occasional tuppence and given us pre-clearance facilities at two of our airports. And the pre-clearance facilities (not to mention AUTEC) serve more their own national security interests than our economic interests. As the U.S. has foolishly moved out, Red China has wisely moved in. My oh my, how the once mighty U.S. has fallen.

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Dawes 7 months ago

Well every time a boat goes missing we turn to the US to help. I am sure we would have a lot more boaters never found if it wasn't for the US. But i take it you mean like the Chinese in giving us a stadium (not for free of course but on appearances it was) as that is something you can easily see. I would assume the US gives us much more then people realise, and yes a lot of it is to benefit them but that is what every country does.

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Clamshell 7 months ago

... how long would we last if American tourists stopped visiting, or if American retirees quit buying second homes here?

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John 7 months ago

And your point? Ninety percent of our food comes from the US along with other commodities, even though most were originally imported from China. So we are also a good trading pardner with the US

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licks2 7 months ago

Do you ever check anything before you post?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months ago

Next we'll have the U.S. government controlled IDB putting its lending teat ('tit') to the sucking lips of our corrupt politicians for our country to borrow mega-millions of dollars to build a cushy plush new prison facility. In the same breath, the U.S. & EU controlled IMF will berate us for not getting a handle on our ever increasing national debt. Connect the dots my fellow Bahamians. The U.S. governments wants us hooked on unsustainable debt that they can control, so that they can pull the rug out from under us when it suits them, as they did in Venezuela. Perhaps we can persuade Red China to build us a brand new prison facility on exceptionally generous financial terms.

The Venezuelan people got screwed because the U.S. government did not want Venezuela to have control of its own vast oil reserves that exceed even Saudi Arabia's oil reserves. We Bahamians will be increasingly screwed by the U.S. because of our strategic location to the U.S. and its desire to have its own constituents own and/or control as much of our precious pristine land and sea as they possibly can. Right now the U.S. government is using its cruise line industry (e.g. Disney and RCL) to acquire strategically located land holdings in the Bahamas with the assistance of our corrupt and dimwitted elected officials. LMAO

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DDK 7 months ago

Your remarks are right on Mudda!

"Right now the U.S. government is using its cruise line industry (e.g. Disney and RCL) to acquire strategically located land holdings in the Bahamas with the assistance of our corrupt and dimwitted elected officials."

Hadn't thought of that but you are quite possibly right! Wouldn't put it past them, but is Royal Caribbean not still Scandinavian?.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months ago

RCL is entirely South Florida (Miami) based...as U.S. as apple pie.

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TheMadHatter 7 months ago

I can assume that every commenter on here (with the possible exception of Dawes) does not have any family member in prison and also is in possession of a signed contract by God that they nor their loved ones will ever end up there. I will also assume that you have never had a car accident or fallen and broken a bone or had anything else wrong happen in your life. Good for you.

Why don't we change the law so that anyone involved in a car accident (even the passengers) must spend one year in prison? I bet you guys would sing a different tune real quick.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months ago

My flag is turquoise, gold and black.....not red, white and blue. And you obviously are unaware that our country is broke, and that the U.S. has its own very well known prison hell holes.

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TheMadHatter 7 months ago

We have financial problems - but we can afford toilets. Im guessing you yourself can afford toilet paper in your own house? Or tell us how many grape tree you got in your back yard for da leaf.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months ago

Our prison authority gave up on toilets many decades ago. Prisoners were consistently destroying them, even the steel ones with no toilet lids and safer non-removable tank tops. Remember, we're talking about savage, brutal and barbaric prisoners in the main; individuals frequently filled with intense un-controllable rage who more often than not have absolutely zero respect for human life.

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Dawes 7 months ago

Thankfully i don't. I just feel if people are to be released then prison should be used to rehabilitate people, and keeping them in the conditions they currently are does not do that, and will only lead to more problems later on (as is happening).

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DDK 7 months ago

Compassion is a good think Hatter. Don't think it's at the top of the politicians' lists.

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TheMadHatter 7 months ago

You're right. Also sounds like it's not at the top of the list for a lot of people on here. I wonder if they think Jesus will be fooled by their shiny clothes and church attendance? I often think about this issue when i see a mother with a baby in the food store or somewhere and friends and relatives happen to see her there and make nice comments like "Oh he's so cute" or "He's growing so big." or "This the first time i'm seeing the baby. He looks so nice." Etc. All smiles. Happy. Proud.

Then 23 years later when he's in prison, they refer to him like he's not even a human. They even go in the Registry and erase God's name off his birth certificate. God's child - erased - no longer worthy of a cup of water.

An amazing "Christian" country.

I've been active in every major political party in this country after the UBP. I was too young. But ive been in the FNM, CDR, PLP, and DNA. Sometimes i wonder why. Why bother trying to help people who so truly hate their fellow man?

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licks2 7 months ago

Maybe it is not the people you are trying to help. . .ever thought . . . maybe you are truely trying to help YOU!! That's the typical motive for politics in this nation ya know! In my book. . .any person, be he politician or civilian who can hold an opinion in the presence of contrary evidences to the contrary is for him/herself only!! He or she will not respect the worth or intelligence of others. . .that trait is usually found in dictators! But you maybe one of those politicians who do want to help people. . .but I can assure you that your selfish and myopic views will keep you out of the house. . .you are extreme and will not ever consider the views of anybody beside you. . .and like Wallace Withfield . . .you scare the hell out of thinking folks!

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TheMadHatter 7 months ago

I will give that serious thought. Sincerely appreciate your comment.

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bogart 7 months ago

FOR DECADES....PRISON CONDITIONS GET WORSE......BY LAW ....WE DA PORE ...ALMOST ALL IN DA PRISON.....hav joint jailed....tief can tuna an bag rice gets jail....young boys gets lock up wid hard criminals....EDUCATED PEOPLE CAN FIGANGLE......USES...WASTAGES...OF PORE PEOPLE TAXES.......AN...AN...AN...LIL OR NO BENEFITS FOR PORE....READ DUMB....CLOSE EYES....AN NOT REALIZE CRIME...CORRELATES....TO POVERTY...LACK OPPORTUNITIES....LACK EDUCATION........BUT ..EDUCATED.....RICH...ECHELONS....ELITES.....CAN BUY NEW BAHAMASAIR MONEY LOSING ...BUYING $11.4 MILLION DOLLARS New Generation 737 jet free or subsidized fares used by dem.....Build BASEBALL STADIUM costs mussey double fron round 10 million......Contracts for overspending 2x...3x....nobody jailed.....Big hole for Clinic in Eleuthera...still big hole.....Potters Cay renovations...parking for businesses across da road.taxpayers money....millions funnelled into perpetual money subventions govt appointed political appointments.....Which rich employers ever caught fined illegals???... wasted money....HUNDREDS perhaps Billions of dollars wasted....AND ...pore Bahamians...bread an tea...slop bucket...lack basic medical care...PSYCHOLOGICAL PUNISHED....MENTALLY TORTURED....INCULCATING PRISON BADS TO YOUNG INMATED....pore people are prisoners...NOT INHUMAN...!!!!!!!.......RICH ...AN FAT....ELITES...COHORTS....live off da land....OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEN.....AN NONE FOR PORE WE INMATES.......bread an tea for pore inmates.....an elites...echelons..cohorts...having food a peanuts on board new Bahamasair 737 New Generation jet $11.4 million....paid by pore thousands family taxpayers family

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TheMadHatter 7 months ago

Preach it brother. These jacks on here been trained to bend over and pick up the soap so long, they've learned to like it.

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TigerB 7 months ago

I visited that place a too many times, and even took wayward boys to see it for a tour and crime prevention measures...I seen it with my own eyes, 5 gallon buckets for toilet, 5 and 6 fellas in an 8X 6 cell with heat and no ventilation....the idea is not to got there, but our young males believe they are invincible.... jail is no joke!! Don't go there ahahah

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One 7 months ago

Do away with the prison and put these adults to work instead so they are rehabilitated to enter society with skills. We have 700 islands; choose an uninhabited one and build a society there where prisoners farm, cook, construct, clean for themselves. It would be less cost caring for them; heck perhaps they produce a surplus of food which the government could use to feed homeless, orphans and the elderly. Locking adults in a cage doesn't rehabilitate them to eventually be released into society.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months ago

My friend, you clearly have no inkling how savage, brutal and barbaric many of those in our prison population were before their incarceration and how much more hardened they have become while in prison. The idea of letting these most dangerous thugs out of prison under the pretense that they can somehow be controlled and/or rehabilitated is a fallacy.

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One 7 months ago

"how much more hardened they have become while in prison" This is exactly the problem; rehabilitation is the goal. What is the point of putting people through a system that damages them further? A destructive and expensive system that Bahamians pay for.

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rawbahamian 7 months ago

How do you rehabilitate someone who has the I.Q. of cotton candy ???

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months ago

I'm talking about our many dangerous criminal thugs well beyond redemption or rehabilitation. Believe me, they exist in great numbers in our prison system. And if they didn't exist, we would have no need for a hell after life to house them under the rule of Satan - we would only need a heaven for all of us to blissfully dwell in for all eternity. If these most savage, brutal and barbaric people are destined to spend all eternity in hell, then they may as well get a primer for it while here on earth. Out of prison these low-life hardened thugs present a most serious life-threatening danger to our law enforcement officials and society at large. Most over-taxed Bahamians have seen too many of their tax dollars squandered by one corrupt government after another and are therefore not the least bit inclined to support paying even more taxes yet again under the guise or pretense of making life more comfortable for individuals who have absolutely zero respect for the value for life. That's the harsh reality my friend, both here and in the U.S. even though the latter will never admit it.

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DDK 7 months ago

Especially those that have been imprisoned for petty offenses like half a joint.....

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months ago

There are very few non-dangerous prisoners in Fox Hill Prison for petty offenses. They are usually let go for good behavior quite quickly to make room for the savagely brutal and barbaric ones who truly must be incarcerated to protect the public. Our concern should be for the few foreigners who get locked up for minor offenses and are occasionally forgotten about because they have no voice (family) in the Bahamas. Our judicial system has wrongfully allowed some non-dangerous foreigners to languish in prison for years simply because they have no voice or family on the outside to represent their interests. But these cases are very rare.

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rawbahamian 7 months ago

The biggest surprise here, is that EVERYONE knows about the horrific conditions at the prison but none the less, the cells have a huge return rate because apparently the conditions are NOT HORRIFIC enough to discourage repeat offenders !!! When you punish animals 3 times max for the same 'offence', even they have the capacity to stop what they were punished for. So how do you explain criminals returning so often that they are on a first name basis with the ENTIRE prison staff !!!

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John 7 months ago

The answer is simple: the pipeline, yes pipeline from high school to prison was designed for the black man in America. It starts off like a simple offense or even loitering. The victim is given s long prison sentence or a record that prevents him from getting employment ( or in the case of the US he even becomes ineligible for public housing). So he can’t even stay with friends or relatives who are receiving government assistance. So going back to jail is like the best alternative for him and staying there is even better because nothing would have improved after the second jail Staunton. In ignorance (at first) and based on their wrong advice, this country follows the US in throwing young men in jail for minor offenses ( some are sometimes false or trumped up). So they are exposed to these subhuman living conditions and when they are released they not only find themselves having to face the challenges Black Americans had to face with housing and unemployment, but also being on that list as ‘known to police ‘ They are constantly picked up and questioned by police in relation to crimes and so eventually they find themselves back in Fox Hell Hole. And for many it is easier to endure the conditions up there than survive as a free citizen. Well America has somewhat relaxed its assault on Black men in that country and now is even seeking to release some who have gotten unusually harsh or long sentences. But what has this country (Bahamas) done? They have intensified their assault on young men. They have made their interrogation methods more brutal and deadly and they are damaging and destroying more young men and even women than any other institutions, even criminal gangs in this country. And they do it all under the guise of crime fighting and law enforcement. But they cannot find the ‘woman’ who snatched 6 or 7 innocent children..and guess why?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months ago

You more than most, all too frequently use the race card like its some kind of useful crutch to support whatever position you're trying to make. It's as if you don't know that most black Bahamians today are quite comfortable in their own skin and have no need for that tired old crutch. I can only assume you watched too many showings of the movie Roots back when Poodling was PM. LMAO

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licks2 7 months ago

What a waste of good computer space. . .you live in one lil world all by yasef. . .you mixed right up there fella. . . what part of this planet you living man. . .come outta them there bushes brother. . .this is 2019. . .the war has been over for over one hundred years ma brudder. . .

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bogart 7 months ago

Popular market for skin whiteners....'good' hair...extensions...remi...Brazil....not to mention the men in hairy wool suits...white shirt tie....

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concerned799 7 months ago

If people don't like the US commenting on Bahamian prisons, perhaps citizens need to get more involved in making visits so more informed debate can be had?

Should Bahamian jails not meet generally accepted international standards?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months ago

Why don't you start by inspecting many of the well known prison hell holes in the U.S. in order to ensure you are qualified to make a meaningful comparison with Her Majesty's Prison in Fox Hill?

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TheMadHatter 7 months ago

Are we even allowed to go there? I thought you could only go to see a relative/friend. Ive heard some church pastors go there on Sun/Sat to beat them over the head with a Bible before giving them some toothpaste or something.

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John 7 months ago

@ mudda- Yes we (Black Bahamians) are more comfortable in our own skin because our necks have grown strong and we will eventually break the yoke that people like you, mudda, has put on us. Trying now to act innocent or in denial will not stop you from having to drag the cart you made us drag. Or bearing the load you burdened on us or the punishment you fished out. Race card has two sets of colors still. Did not be scared!

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months ago

You have some very serious issues that go well beyond me. Good luck in dealing with them.

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John 7 months ago

Yes, learn to let sleeping dogs lie

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John 7 months ago

So what about all dem rich, white people who bought their children's way into the top colleges in the US/. Some bribed coaches, some bought out exam results, and some just outright paid their children's way through admissions processes...A number have already been forced to resign from companies they head or key positions they hold. Send some to do their time at Fox Hill! The yoke is being broken..Spending millions of dollars in a corrupt system to make their dumb and spoiled children look smart.

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DDK 7 months ago

I suppose they think we should follow their prison industrial complex model.........

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 months ago

That's precisely what they think. They are, after all, the world's leading experts on locking up non-dangerous people of colour and throwing away the key!

Keep in mind too that many U.S. prisons are operated by very big and highly profitable enterprises that have enormously powerful lobby groups on the Hill in D.C. Yep, keeping non-dangerous people of colour locked up for long periods of time is big business in the U.S. And to think they feel justified in meddling in our prison affairs. Now that's a really big joke if there ever was one! LMAO

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Islangal1 7 months ago

This report is about the prison conditions in The Bahamas and the inhuman treatment of our people, The Bahamian people. Many of whom I might add are innocent. The justice system in the Bahamas is corrupt, the civil service is corrupt, our politicians are corrupt but instead of calling for reform. You attack America! Firstly, America does not run on the tourist dollar, secondly what happens in America stays in America, any country comes for them they have the forces to fight back and remain unscathed. The Bahamas cannot say the say, hell we can't even feed ourselves so we should be the last to toss stones.

Insulting America is like fighting a tiger with a stick. You won't win, all they have to do is slam one embargo on The Bahamas and let me see how many of you will sing and dance for your supper.

The Bahamas needs reform across the board. Period!!

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