The crime situation in Saint Lucia is putting Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF) under pressure, a senior government official has told St Lucia Times.
The official, who had access to inmate figures at the institution, spoke to St Lucia Times on condition of anonymity.
It was reported that the remand population at the facility is at its highest in about four years at about 330.
According to the senior government official, it is way above the number of the penal population, those already sentenced by the courts, which stands at about 170.
The official told St Lucia Times that the population of those in prison ‘shot up’.
“It is putting pressure on the BFC,” the official observed, noting that last year, even when the prison temporarily housed 24 hurricane-displaced prisoners from the British Virgin Islands (BVI), the facility had less than 500 inmates.
The BCF, built in 2003 with a capacity for 500 prisoners, has surpassed that figure, it was observed.
In addition, it was noted that the BFC is currently home to some 42 young offenders aged between 16 and 22.
“With more crime, there are more arrests,” the senior government official noted.
The official expressed the view that the situation could be alleviated with the proper functioning of the courts which could result in remand prisoners either being sentenced or acquitted.
According to the official, if persons on remand are sentenced they can then be absorbed into the general prison system and be moved around in available cells.