Questions raised about monitoring of convicts let out for HAPI

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Calls are being made to shut down the government’s Home Advancement Programme for the Indigent (HAPI) or improve the monitoring of inmates who work in the field.
This comes amid reports that convicted murderer Surowidjojo Bryan “Red Rat” Frederik – who has been behind bars since 2009 and who works with the programme – is soon to become a father because his girlfriend is seven months pregnant.
It was also confirmed by well-placed prison sources that other inmates who go out are allowed time to mingle and socialise with residents, and they are allowed visitation while out in the field when they are supposed to be working.
A source at the prison said some of the inmates who are on the HAPI initiative are serious crime convicts and should not be allowed into society. The source said there is no rehabilitation programme of significance at the jail that would have altered the behaviour or thinking of some of the criminals.
Similar sentiments have been expressed on social media by activist Mary John, who has for several months been demanding a revisit of the management of the inmates who are sent out to work.
The prison officer who spoke with OBSERVER media over the weekend said the majority of those who recently got time shaved off their sentences on the advice of Albert Wade – the Deputy Commissioner of Police who also supervised the prison from November 2014 to the end of January this year – were allowed certain privileges under “corrupt practices.”
The source said these inmates are “friends” with the prison hierarchy and it appears there was a well-orchestrated plan to ensure they were released without serving their full time, while individuals who have committed less serious offences but who are not part of the HAPI initiative are not given certain privileges.
“We all know who is running the prison up to now. We only have a new Superintendent but that is by name only,” the source said.
Speaking about the relationship Frederik fostered with a woman outside the jail, the prison source said the convicted murderer was allowed to do this for over a year, and within two months the now heavily pregnant young woman is due to deliver Frederik’s baby.
The Surinamese man has been behind bars from the day of his arrest on June 19, 2009, and has been serving a 16-year jail sentence since his conviction in 2011 for the murder of Mack Pond resident Lyndon Browne. Frederik admitted that he chopped Browne nine times and then stabbed him twice in the heart after he (Browne) caught him (Frederik) in his home.
The source said prison rules do not allow conjugal visits in Antigua and in this case the individual is not even the convict’s wife, although efforts were reportedly made to get them married while the man serves his prison sentence.
OBSERVER media was unable to verify the source’s claim. She however provided a collage of photographs of the prisoner, in prison garb, embracing the young woman who is said to be carrying his child.
The collage of photographs is labelled Happy New Year 2019, while in another photograph the convict is seen sitting relaxed outside a house, dressed in his prison clothing.
And if there was doubt about the prison official’s claim of the inmate impregnating someone, a young woman reached out to OBSERVER media over the weekend, identifying herself as the person carrying Frederik’s child.
She said Frederik was released from prison after 12 noon last week and he was taken to the “army base” into the custody of the Immigration Department because he is a non-national. The young woman said she took food for him to eat because he was not being fed.
According to her, he was removed from the base and taken back to prison.
“I would like to find out if anything should happen to him who is going to be responsible? They are not feeding him cause up to now he hasn’t had anything to eat, nobody called and explained anything to me,” she said.
The individual said she called the prison to speak with the authorities and she was told the aforementioned.
“While he is in prison, he is in there for nine years. I am seven moths pregnant for him so I want to know what the government is to do about this. They dropped him back to prison like he is a dog, which he is not, and I would like to know who is responsible for feeding him because they are not feeding him in there,” she added.
She also said, “They dropped him back there without a warrant, nothing, he hasn’t done anything wrong. How they take him back there and leave others up there? It is not like to say they don’t have any guards to guard them because people that he came out with yesterday are still in immigration custody, are still at the defence force base.”
Frederik was among eight prisoners who were released having been granted remission of time for good behaviour, ill health and compassion among other reasons.
The three convicted killers who were released and then detained again are: former policeman Gideon Jackson who pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 12 years for killing gas station attendant Dorothy Prince; Umberto Schenato who was found guilty for murdering his ex-wife in an attack in broad daylight at Epicurean Supermarket; and Surowidjojo Bryan “Red Rat” Frederik who admitted guilt to murder. The others are sex offenders Derrick Brady, Mandela Samuel and Osuide Simpson; fraudster Emerlene Henry; and career animal thief Kenrick Wiltshire.

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