Prison “tightens” security following fake lawyer breach

Prison “tightens” security following fake lawyer breach
Bahamas Department of Correctional Services Commissioner Charles Murphy. (FILE PHOTO)

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prison Commissioner Charles Murphy said yesterday security at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDOCS) has been strengthened since a woman purporting to be a lawyer and carrying a fake identification card was able to visit inmates and sneak contraband into the facility on Fox Hill Road.

“We have all of our security measures in place,” he said in response to questions from the media.

“That’s the reason why we detected the young lady who purported to be an attorney.

“You always have persons who seek to evade the system, but after a while, the system will catch up with them.”

He said those seeking to attempt a similar feat will be caught.

“Don’t try it; we will catch you,” he said.

Warnika Russell, 25, of Zion Boulevard, was charged with two counts of evading the requirements of the law by having a forged Bahamas Bar Association identification that authorized her to access the BDOCS to visit inmates as their attorney.

She was also charged with two counts of possession of Indian Hemp marijuana with intent to supply to another.

The charges stemmed from incidents on February 12.

The judge sentenced her to 13 months for drug possession in contravention of the Dangerous Drugs Act and 15 months for fraud.

Asked about the additional security measures, the commissioner said disclosure of those details could incentivize others to seek to compromise the system.

“We have tightened up our measures,” he continued.

Murphy was also asked if there were previous incidents of people entering the compound under false pretenses.

Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.

But he said he did not recall any previous incidents.

Outside of the Churchill Building last week, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said he was certain the matter would be looked into and the agencies responsible will take action.

He said security breaches are concerning.

“It has been a problem at the BDOC for decades, but [compliments] to the current commissioner,” Dames said.

“He has done a yeoman’s job in cleaning it up and very shortly we will be introducing high-tech scanning equipment.

“We should be introducing those very shortly; probably within the next few weeks or a month.”

Dames said the transformation of the facility has been unbelievable and he credited the progress to the hard work of the prison commissioner and his officers.