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PM Gives Assurances To Correctional Officers Concerned About Their Safety

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Correctional officers, concerned for their safety due to long-standing unaddressed grievances, say they have received assurances from Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre that he is willing to address them.

On Thursday, the Correctional Services Welfare Association sent a letter to Pierre’s office urging immediate talks with him and a resolution of the outstanding issues that put officers’ safety at risk.

Association Public Relations Officer Yasmin Peter said Pierre had a discussion with the organisation’s President, Kerdi Oscar, on Friday evening.

“The Prime Minister had a meeting over the telephone with the President of our Association, indicating his willingness to work with us to address our various grievances,” Peter told St Lucia Times.

As a result, she said the association executive would work in good faith with the government.

“The Prime Minister would be out of the island, but he has scheduled a meeting with the Minister of Home Affairs and some other persons from the Ministry of Finance. So the executive of the Association will meet with those persons on Monday at 8:30 to further discuss the grievances and see how best they can be addressed in the short, medium, and long term,” Peter explained.

Peter said some pressing issues included access to equipment, specifically radio communication.

She said correctional officers heard promises that they would receive radios on March 31.

But she said the officers have not.

“Imagine one officer or two officers manning a unit with one hundred plus inmates. Imagine maybe two female officers on that unit with 150 male inmates and they do not even have a radio in case of an emergency,” Peter told St Lucia Times.

“They do not even have a fixed line on that unit to make a call,” she stated.

Peter said in the interim correctional officers use mobile telephones.

However, the Association spokeswoman explained that officers might have to make several calls before getting through.

“The radios could save our officers’ lives,” she declared.

In addition, she said correctional officers have staffing concerns.

Peter said although several officers have retired, the vacant positions have not been filled.

“In fact, we learned that we will not be getting any new staff until 2025 and this has our members disgruntled,” she told St Lucia Times.

Peter recalled that the Association had asked its members to be patient, but their concerns have yet to be addressed, although they are willing to work with the government.

She revealed that some issues date back to the collective agreement signed in August 2019.

 

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Whatttt this is insane 2 female officers guarding 150 male prisoners and they do not have a radio or fixed line to call in!!! SmPH they have to use their personal cell phones, what if there is asituation, an they don’t have credit or there screen is down than like BTC not 4 but 150 Escapees’ Come on get you’re She…t together Govt and handle Borderlie affairs! What about WASCO?…..

  2. So why would you put two female officers on a unit with 150 males smfh make some smarter and safer decisions

  3. Those correctional officers are veryuch liars they treat prisoners like animals for promotion and want to get rewarded for it to hell with them

  4. The pm is setting up himself and country for uncertain circumstances that can spiral out of control. The current circumstances surrending the system pose one of the most dangerous threat to national security. Communication is one of the keys to ensuring that that part of our security system in properly managed and control. Saint Lucia prison houses the most dangerous criminals in St. Lucia and the region. Somebody is not at the wheel here. For example, any human being that would use a machete to stab and murder an innocent infant has better be controlled.

    Two female prison officers to guard 150 prisoners, including men with unknown mental issues, murderers, and…is setting up those officers for disaster. Is Saint Lucia asleep at the wheel? Is our leadership telling the people that the country cannot afford to equip our officers with proper communication equipment? Is the government waiting for the Vulcans to erupt in order to do something? Yes, the present conditions at the prison are a clear indication that a revolution might start from within the prison system.

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