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November prison death a ‘homicide’

The Bahamas Department of Correctional Services.

The Bahamas Department of Correctional Services.

By EARYEL BOWLEG

Tribune Staff Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

NATIONAL Security Minister Wayne Munroe says he has not yet seen an official report that focuses on the circumstances surrounding the death of prison inmate Mikhail Taylor last November.

The 29-year-old man was found dead at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services and blunt force trauma was later determined as the cause of death. Given this result, officials determined Taylor’s death was a homicide. Police are investigating.

While he was yesterday unsure of whether anyone has been charged, Mr Munroe confirmed he gave authorisation for inmates to be questioned as part of the investigation. However, Diallo Williamson appeared before Magistrate Samuel McKinney in January this year charged with the murder.

His comments came as he confirmed that another inmate was found unresponsive at the facility on Sunday.

Mr Munroe said there was church service at the medium security prison at the time.

“We left that service at about 12 I would say and within an hour Commissioner Cleare called me to say that the inmate was found unresponsive on a bed in one of the medium security dorms,” Mr Munroe said.

“Foul play is not suspected at this moment but there will have to be an autopsy before the final determination is made. The homicide section of CDU is investigating this as they investigate all sudden deaths”.

Regarding Taylor, it was also revealed that he suffered from mental issues and his family has questioned the circumstances under which he died.

In the aftermath of his death, the minister said a wing will be established at BDCS to accommodate the mentally challenged.

“Issues like that are issues for why we are trying to improve the facility,” Mr Munroe told reporters yesterday.

Mr Munroe made the comments on the sidelines of the commissioning for the annex building which has a cafe and gym for security personnel at the ministry. The building is to provide housing, meals, and an overall fitness facility.

He continued: “When you have persons who may be somewhat troubled being housed in general population, it creates a problem,” Mr Munroe said.

“One of the wings that is proposed to be constructed in the new high-medium prison would be a wing for mentally challenged, mentally disturbed persons who can be housed in a manner to be safe to themselves.”

Mr Miller’s mother, Rose Miller, said her son, who had “mental issues”, was imprisoned in October after she went to the police to ask them for help to get her son taken to Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre for help.

The Freetown MP spoke about the anticipated 700-bed, high-medium security facility. As for progress, he noted there have been initial meetings.

“The financial secretary has directed us as to how we are to proceed.

“During that process, it came out we had to demolish the virtual court and so we will have to rebuild that otherwise we’ll be transporting. We have hundreds and hundreds of prisoners downtown unnecessarily. So, we’re at the point where the partner has to engage experts.

“So they are being directed back to the Ministry of Finance to work out issues surrounding that business solution. I have seen proposals that I will now have to have my permanent secretary, a team from this ministry, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Works and BDCS go to assess actually correctional facilities in operation in the US to make sure we align ours with theirs so that it could be properly certified as (a) correctional institution.”

He is hoping the trip can happen sometime in July and August.

Comments

Sickened 2 weeks, 1 day ago

Finally some good news from the prison. If only more prisoners would die. We would have spare capacity to put more animals in there.

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JokeyJack 2 weeks ago

So after 6 months we just gonna do an autopsy? No problem. It's no rush. I guess the prisoner was just a criminal, not a human, right?

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