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Dismay over Prison officer’s suspension Featured

  • Written by  The Grenada Informer
Commissioner 'Ram' Folkes Commissioner 'Ram' Folkes

Three weeks after news circulated via the Fearless Weekly on a failed drug operation and breach of security at the Richmond Hill Prison by a convicted murderer, one prison officer has been suspended and Informer learned that his suspension has not gone down well with inmates and other prison officers and protest action may be in the pipeline.

Inside sources told the Informer that the present mood at the island’s only penitentiary is one of high tension where people are of the view that justice was not served by those investigating that matter and the officer who has been sent home is the “least of the apostle” and is likely innocent of the charges, which were leveled against him.

 The incident surrounded Kyron Mc Farlene’s escape from his holding cell in an area referred to as Jones Town; reserved for condemned prisoners, by changing the locks on the doors of the cell. Sources said five locks were changed and Mc Farlane was seen one evening parading the prison compound.

 The Commissioner of Prisons was later informed and a massive search was ordered during which a quantity of drugs as well as knives and cell phones were seized by the search team that included police officers and members of the Special Services Unit.  The officers we were told, also found the keys to the new locks on a bed used by Mc Farlane.

  Sources told the Informer that although inmates and prison officers alike had expressed concerns and demanded a full investigation into the matter given the sensitive nature of the prison; the suspended individual who was at the time stationed in the tower of the prison should not have been the one taking the sticks for something that was never part of his scope of work on that day.

A recent assessment of the prison was conducted by a local organization into conditions there. Although the findings have not yet been released Informer learned that concerns were raised by members of the delegation concerning the state of security at the prison.  However, given the present construct of the prison, coupled with the necessary checks and balances that go with ensuring that all is well particularly with the Jones Town area, it is difficult for someone to have a lock changed for four days without the knowledge of the authorities and therefore to have one individual sent home who has nothing to do with the security operations in the prison; especially the Jones Town area which is specially monitored, is unfair.

 The authorities admitted that Mc Farlane’s intention on that day was never to escape the prison but to ensure that he was present when his “merchandise” came over the prison wall, so as to make the collection as part of a lucrative business that has been taking place in the prison for years. 

It so happened that on that day, he was spotted before making his collection.  Additionally we were told; although Mc Farlane was spotted after the prison lock down time the officer in the tower would not have been privy to information detailing who should be on the square at that time, as several inmates frequent the area even after shut down time.  

 Meanwhile; given the present outcome, sources told the Informer that there are some unhappy faces and to confirm their disapproval have called an emergency meeting to discuss the situation with a view to taking their concerns to a different level including possible protest action. 

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