|Prison to launch new safety strategy|
|Thursday, 29 July 2010 10:42|
The Prison Service is preparing to launch a newly developed Security Strategy putting in place structured security procedures to ensure the safety of staff, prisoners, the visiting public and the wider community.
In addition to the security changes, prison officials say they have also developed a work plan for the coming 12 months with a strong focus on effective management, development of staff, and the welfare and rehabilitation of offenders.
Special emphasis will be placed on community payback, a range of schemes that allows risk assessed offenders to put back into the community.
This can be by way of doing manual work for victims of crime, cleaning areas of the community, working with churches in preparing for events, tourism attraction renovation or repair, hurricane damage repair to community buildings, and park cleaning and renovation.
“The prison needs to build strong foundations and the development of the security strategy is an important step forward,” said Prison Superintendent Ian Sargent. “Once you have good security procedures, staff training and rules you can develop other areas like prisoner activities and community working. My team has worked hard over the last few months to build on existing practices.”
“Visitors to the prison will indeed have a different experience,” Sargent said. “This applies to both official and social visitors. The searching of items coming into the prison and of visitors will be done in a respectful manner. I stress the importance of staff carrying out these duties in a sensitive and dignified manner.”
The new security strategy will also mean a different experience for staff who will also now be subjected to searches.
“I commend all officers who step through the gate every morning and perform their duties professionally,” Sargent said. “They face on occasion, abuse, fights, assaults, and harassment. At the same time they have to mentor, support, guide and deal with issues affecting prisoners while ensuring security is maintained. All this is done on behalf of the community.
Sargent says the community should pull together to ensure the work inside the prison is constructive, so that when it’s time to release prisoners into the community, they are not stigmatised and barriers are not put up so they cannot succeed in society.
“If we do not support released offenders, then recidivism will remain high,” Sargent said.
Sargent was named superintendent in May, succeeding Acting Superintendent Llewelyn Taylor. Sargent will serve as superintendent for two years, during which time he will mentor and develop Belonger staff.
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