Prison Officers Association President Transferred After Calling for Relocation of Port-of-Spain Prison

The transfer of the Prison Officers Association president after his public call to relocate the Port-of-Spain Prison highlights the dire conditions and security issues in Trinidad and Tobago's correctional facilities, prompting calls for urgent government action.

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Salman Khan
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Prison Officers Association President Transferred After Calling for Relocation of Port-of-Spain Prison

Prison Officers Association President Transferred After Calling for Relocation of Port-of-Spain Prison

Gerard Gordon, the President of the Prison Officers Association, has been transferred to the Port-of-Spain Prison just one day after publicly calling for the facility's immediate relocation. Gordon cited the prison's age, security issues, and recent incidents as reasons for the urgent need to move the prison to a new location.

The transfer comes amid heightened tensions at the Port-of-Spain Prison following a riot on March 26. In the aftermath of the incident, Prisons Commissioner Dennis Pulchan directed 17 prison officers who remained on sick leave to "wipe your nose, dry your tears and get back to work." While acknowledging the challenges faced by officers, Pulchan stated that those who can't handle the job should leave.

Prior to his transfer, Gordon had warned that a serious incident at the Port-of-Spain Prison would make the recent riot look like a "birthday party" in comparison. He criticized Commissioner Pulchan for apologizing to inmates after the riot. Gordon's public comments about the prison's problems and his call for relocation appear to have prompted his swift transfer to the very facility he deemed unfit.

Why this matters: The situation at the Port-of-Spain Prison highlights the pressing need to address the deteriorating conditions and security concerns in Trinidad and Tobago's correctional facilities. The safety of both prison officers and inmates is at stake, and the government must take decisive action to prevent further unrest and ensure the humane treatment of all individuals within the prison system.

The Prison Officers Association has been vocal about the need for improvements at the Port-of-Spain Prison for some time. In a statement, Gordon reiterated his stance, saying, "The Port-of-Spain Prison is old, it has security issues, and we've seen the consequences of that in recent incidents. Relocating the prison is not just about the safety of our officers, but also about providing a more secure and rehabilitative environment for inmates." As the situation continues to unfold, the government faces increasing pressure to address the concerns raised by the Prison Officers Association and take concrete steps to reform the country's prison system.

Key Takeaways

  • Prison officers' association president transferred after calling for prison relocation
  • Tensions high at Port-of-Spain Prison after March 26 riot, prison commissioner's response
  • Prison officers' association warns of more serious incident, criticizes commissioner's apology
  • Deteriorating prison conditions and security concerns highlight need for reform
  • Prison officers' association reiterates call for relocating old, insecure Port-of-Spain Prison