Inmates who this week caused a disturbance at the Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF), underestimated the power of law enforcement authorities.
That’s the word from Director of Corrections, Hilary Herman.
Herman spoke to Lissa Joseph of the National Television Network (NTN).
And he said that the situation at the BCF is now calm.
As a result of this week’s unrest, officers fired non-lethal ‘beanbag’ rounds.
Afterwards, emergency personnel took at least two injured inmates to hospital.
“I think the inmates underestimated what the expectations of taking over the unit was,” Herman explained.
“They saw themselves as 300 odd inmates with a handful of maybe 30 officers,” the BCF official stated.
“I think they really underestimated the power of that team that came in.”
BCF officials summoned the SSU to assist in quelling the inmate unrest.
The Dennery fire station also responded after the inmates in the Bravo unit lit a fire in a cell.
It followed days of agitation at the BCF.
During that time, inmates posted videos on social media complaining about living conditions.
They also complained about inadequate measures to contain a COVID-19 outbreak at the prison.
“This was three days in the making,” the Director of Corrections recalled.
Medical officials had disclosed that 8 prisoners were COVID-19 positive.
The BCF this week confirmed the COVID-19 related death of an inmate.
However Herman explained that BCF officials had attempted to negotiate with the inmates and meet most of their needs.
But he disclosed that concerns about COVID-19 had not been high on the list of inmate concerns.
“That was an afterthought,” Herman asserted.
“It was an opportunity they saw during the COVID era to put out their grievances,” he said.
According to Herman, the main inmate issue was the length of time they are spending on remand.
He said Correctional Officers who took the COVID-19 test were in quarantine.
So Herman disclosed that the BCF was operating with less staff.
He said that gave inmates the energy and a feeling that they had the upper hand to press their demands.
“As it escalated it got to the point where we had to push back,” Herman declared.
Headline photo caption: Police vehicle parked at BCF (File image)