Prison authorities still grappling with smuggling

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Over $85,000 worth of cocaine, marijuana, hashish, ecstasy pills, tobacco, cigarettes and other contraband were confiscated from prisoners and their cells in the past year. Prison Superintendent Albert Wade, who lamented the issue of the smuggling of illegal drugs and other banned substances/items, said he is certain the problem is much bigger than the confiscations show.
Wade told the court this week that the Narcotics Department seized “approximately twenty-one (21) pounds of cannabis, 77 grams of cocaine, 4.7 grams of hashish, one ecstasy tablet, 16 pounds of tobacco, 106 packets of cigarettes, 47 cigars and 63 cellular phones.” This was done in numerous random searches and it is the Narcotics Department that put the estimated value of the contraband at over $85,000. But while trafficking continues to plague the jail, Wade said there are good things happening too, such as a steady reduction of the prison population. Reflecting on his first ever prison report in December 2014, the prison boss said the population then was 341 and now it is 272.
“Clearly, we must be doing something right to reduce the recidivism. But much more needs to be done, by us within the prison and wider society outside the prison to ensure that our inmates are truly rehabilitated, thereby further reducing reoffending inmates,” he said. Wade said there is no task more difficult than “protecting the public by keeping prisoners in custody and trying to prepare them for release in a way that will encourage them from reoffending.” He said he believes the Housing Assistance Program for the Indigent (HAPI) – which is in its second year — has been of great assistance in rehabilitating prisoners who are brought outside to help renovate or build homes for less fortunate residents and to help spruce up communities, beaches and other areas.
And, businesses seem to have a different approach to hiring convicts, Wade said. He elaborated: “From the feedback I received from released inmates there seems to be a shift by the business community towards accepting released inmates and affording them a second chance. No doubt, the HAPI programme is the major contributor by allowing society to see the inmates in a different light.” The prison population is broken down into 265 males and seven females, and Wade’s aim is to rehabilitate as many of them as possible

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