Prison expansion project gathers pace

Minister Steadroy Benjamin said the expansion is a temporary measure only
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By Shermain Bique-Charles

[email protected]

Living conditions at Her Majesty’s Prison could see major improvements within weeks with the completion of the first phase of an expansion programme.

The project started just over a year ago amidst mounting pressure from prison rights advocate Jessica Thompson – along with inmates – who said that the conditions were inhumane and deplorable.

Minister with responsibility for the prison Steadroy Benjamin told Observer yesterday that the much-touted works could be completed in three weeks.

Some human rights advocates have called for the creation of an entire new facility.

Benjamin says, while it is taking some time, the building of a new prison is still on the cards.

“These are modifications. This doesn’t mean that a new prison is not going to be built. The government understands that it must make the prison comfortable for those who are there,” he said.

“These are temporary measures to make it appear to show that we are doing what is right and people’s rights are given serious considerations.”

Benjamin said until the government finds the necessary funding to construct a new prison, it will continue to make modifications.

The work, he said, is taking place within the current facility’s compound in Coronation Road.

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