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More Than 500 Cell Phones Confiscated At Prison

The Department of Correctional Services at Fox Hill.

The Department of Correctional Services at Fox Hill.

By Rashad Rolle

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

STAFF of the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services confiscated 502 cell phones during the 2018-2019 fiscal period, an increase of 12 percent compared with the previous period when 449 phones were collected, National Security Minister Marvin Dames revealed yesterday.

He credited increased staff vigilance and searches for the lack of prison escapes in the past year as well.

Mr Dames spoke about the persistent problems at the BDCS and said there are plans to address a bed shortage and overcrowding at the facility.

“The incessant complaints from officers, inmates, the general public and human rights groups, alike, about the decades-long problem of overcrowding and the practice of slopping in the Maximum Security Unit have not fallen on deaf ears with this Hubert Minnis led government and this minister of national security,” he told the House of Assembly. 

“Maximum Security was built in 1952 to accommodate a maximum of 432 inmates but the current population stands at 894,” he said. “As a measure to reduce the level of overcrowding within the facility, BDOCS will continue its work with the Citizen Security and Justice Programme, Correctional Service Canada and other global partners to prepare for a parole system as a measure to reduce the level of overcrowding within the facility. We cannot effectively address rehabilitation without first correcting the problem of overcrowding. I am not suggesting that parole implementation is a panacea for the countless years of previous administrations not addressing the problems in Maximum Security. The problems that exist will not be fixed overnight but this initiative demonstrates that we remain ‘The People’s Government’ and are committed to criminal justice reform and to improving the physical environment at BDOCS for those employed there and those that are incarcerated.

“To address the shortage of beds, $365,000 is allocated for the manufacturing of 300 beds by inmates during this fiscal period. This manufacturing by inmates is two-fold whereby, it will provide the customisation for the beds to be 71 made in the appropriate size to adequately outfit cells; and it will also provide inmates with the opportunity for practical application of their technical skills.”

Comments

thinkingbigin19 6 months ago

So this is progress? Spending $1,217 per bed for 300 inmates and no associated labour cost because they will be built by the inmates? Surely we must expect better value for our dollars for an institution that needs so much help!

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John 6 months ago

So what do they do with confiscated items? Hold an auction and sell them off?

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John 6 months ago

Three hundred beds will be made at a total cost of $365,000.00 or $1,216.00 each. More than the average Bahamian spends on a complete bedroom set. So what are the benefits of manufacturing these beds in-house when labor is free but the cost is still double the fair market price ?

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bogart 6 months ago

WID more than 500 phones being confiscated at prison.....should also attach jail term and serious fines to da perpetrators.........cause da public safety is affected by.....incarcerated criminals using .....any phone getting through to them.......to have others on the outside prison.....to do ...more...an more an more criminal actions.....CONFISCATING phones is not jus enuff....jail da perpetrators an FINE an JAIL perpetrators caught smugglin phones to convict inmates....da performance results jus only facilitates merry go around an new brakes needs to significant deter to stop it.

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sheeprunner12 6 months ago

We all know how cell phones get into prison ......... that is how the guards make their extra cash, buy nice cars, boats, and build nice apartments and homes .......... simple answer.

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