The Saint Lucia government has bought new mattresses for Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF) inmates to improve the prison and address its concerns.
Home Affairs Minister Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte said the government bought about 100 mattresses.
“In recent time because we have been combatting the crime, a lot of persons have been brought in which has increased the number of inmates,” Albert-Poyotte explained.
“So we have now to build additional beds and these beds – one of the beds costs about eleven thousand dollars – a bunk bed that will house about three inmates,” the Babonneau MP told reporters Thursday.
She explained that the government was investing heavily in the BCF to improve the environment and make things better for inmates and staff.
The Minister said there had been ‘great strides’ since she inherited the Home Affairs portfolio.
But she acknowledged that people might not be satisfied with the pace.
However, Albert-Poyotte disclosed that this year, the government had spent over ten million dollars in additional funding for the BCF.
Part of the money is paying for re-fencing, which has already started.
“We have improved the security. We have given the Correctional Officers some skills allowance that they were asking for over time,” Albert-Poyotte told reporters.
She explained that improving security included the provision of cameras, locks, and other items.
The Minister also recalled there were mold issues in the BCF administrative block.
“That has been addressed,” she revealed.
“We have been trying our best to help the situation,” Albert-Poyotte noted.
Nevertheless, she said it would be cheaper and more beneficial to Saint Lucia if people obeyed the law and continued to contribute to national development.
The Minister observed that it it a huge cost to the government to keep people who have violated the law behind bars.