Dames backtracks on new prison

National Security Minister Marvin Dames seemed to be backing down from government’s commitment to construct a new department of correction due to financial constraints.

Earlier this year after Eyewitness News reported on the state of affairs at the correctional facility that included the use of sloop buckets by prisoners and buildings in dire need of repair. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Eugene Poitier announced that a new facility is part of major changes expected to take place at the Bahamas Department of Corrections (BDOC).

Yesterday, however, Dames and said the government is taking a research-driven approach to the issues.

“We don’t want to spend money for spending money sake we want to modernize and professionalize the prison,” Dames said.

“The thing is the government is in the business of not reacting from the gut we have to look at what we are against.”

Dames said that a number of studies are being conducted under the Citizens Security Program and legislation is being reviewed that impact the correctional facility.

The National Security Minister also responded to concerns expressed by the Prison Staff Association who alleged that promotions were granted to officers who were not qualified.

Dames denied these assertions and said that in the recent promotional exercise all of the officers met the standards put in place.

In 2016, the government’s Parole Re-entry Steering Committee recommended upgrades to the correctional facility, which included new staff guidelines and procedures.