Prison work-programme breaches to be probed

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The new prison chief will be investigating what sorts of breaches were committed, who was responsible for them, and when they occurred, amid allegations of inmates being poorly monitored when they are taken outside the prison compound to work.
There are reports of at least one convicted murderer entering a relationship and impregnating a young woman during his out-of-prison work sessions.
Recently appointed Superintendent of Prisons, Lieutenant Colonel Eugene Philip, spoke exclusively with OBSERVER media yesterday when he disclosed his plans.
“These will be investigated. I don’t know how long ago those photos were taken or if those prison officers are still inside the system…but this thing has come to my attention and as such I will be looking into it to cause whatever investigation to take place and whatever step that is deemed necessary, disciplinary action that is deemed necessary, action will be taken,” he warned.
He also indicated that all the regulations to manage the inmates and the programmes being run by the prison would also be investigated.
So far, during his preliminary investigations, the prison chief said he has learned that some of the inmates featured in the photographs circulating on social media work with the government’s Home Advancement Programme for the Indigent (HAPI).
But there are other inmates who are brought out of prison on other work programmes unrelated to HAPI.
“I have seen some…but in either cases, the prison rules which are published give the prison officers,
once they are going out with inmates, their do’s and don’ts’. I am presently reviewing those rules to see where any of my officers might have blundered,” he stressed.
In the case of Surowidjojo Bryan “Red Rat” Frederik, who has been behind bars since 2009 and who occasionally works outside the prison, the superintendent said he is aware of the allegations that he is soon to become a father because his girlfriend is seven months pregnant. However he said he has not verified that information and has not yet spoken with the inmate.
The young woman spoke with OBSERBER media over the weekend confirming she is pregnant for Frederik with whom she has been having a relationship. She said she sees him when he is brought out to work.
Photographs of the duo are on the woman’s Facebook page and other places on social media. She also personally shared some with OBSERVER media over the weekend. At least one image dates back to January 2018 according to her Facebook page.
“The evidence I have seen thus far, yes he has gone out, but he is not part of the HAPI programme. Apart from the HAPI programme there are other programmes going on … The prison rules, as they leave the compound the officers have their rules and they should not be in contact and all this kind of stuff,” he explained.
Lt Col Philip said the rule books are available to all the prison officers who should be au fait with the regulations. “And I can
tell you there is nothing in the regulation that says when you go out on the detail you are supposed to have sex.”
Speaking of the controversial remission which was granted to Frederik and seven other inmates last week, including two other killers and three sex offenders, the man in charge of the prison said he did not organise that.
“The remission and everything, all that was set in motion before I came to the prison.  I am aware that a number of persons have received remission but there was no discussion about those persons and what offence they had committed,” he stated.
His comment is similar to that made by the attorney general, Steadroy Benjamin, who said the remission
was approved before Philip was put in charge of the prison. Benjamin said the recommendation for the remissions was made by recently replaced Superintendent of Prisons Albert Wade.
It was Benjamin who approved the remissions, sparking widespread outrage among residents. He later rescinded several of them, and the convicts – most of them non-nationals – were returned to prison shortly after they were released into the custody of immigration officials for deportation.
Philip said his role came at the end after “the minister made a statement as to why these persons were released and he has since sent correspondence to the prison as to why they should have returned to the prison.”

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