Probe confirms prisoner took his own life

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Attorney General Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin has disclosed that the government will be assigning a psychologist or a mental health professional to Her Majesty’s Prison to provide counselling and other services to inmates.
He told our newsroom yesterday, that this will be done shortly in an effort to ensure that certain needs of the inmates at the penal institution are met. This is one of the remedial measures promised following a probe into the death of an inmate who was found hanging in his cell close to a month ago.
The probe, conducted by Superintendent of Prisons Albert Wade, confirmed that 27-year-old Cordayro Joseph took his own life on September 27. At the time of his death, Joseph was serving a 35-year jail sentence for the 2011 murder of Coldrick Lewis.
The AG stated that prison authorities are very concerned about the incident and will be putting measures in place to prevent a recurrence.
“We will be getting somebody who can be on the spot, be with the prisoners, to speak to them to help them resolved their issues, if they have any, and to assist them with getting rid of their frustration,” Benjamin said.
He also pointed to the need for a matron to be assigned to the prison, and he agreed with Minister of Health Molwyn Joseph that the person who was recently selected for the job was well suited.
“I will be happy if someone like that is in the prison system to help us on a national level,” Benjamin said.
The person Benjamin referred to is the current matron at the Fiennes Institute, nurse Clarrissa Christopher.
However, the Antigua and Barbuda Nurses Association has rejected her transfer from the Fiennes Institute
to the prison. It is now left to the Establishment Division and the Public Service Commission to finalise the process.

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