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Murphy declares no tolerance on corruption at prison

Newly appointed Commissioner of Correctional Services Charles Murphy yesterday declared that corruption at the institution will not be tolerated during his tenure.

Murphy was announced as commissioner on April 10 and officially took over the position yesterday.

During his inaugural speech, Murphy said, “You can be assured that no form of corruption will be tolerated during my leadership. All staff members will be held at the highest ethical standard and accountability.

“The trust that the Bahamian people have reposed in us will not be betrayed without being challenged. Integrity is our watch word.”

In recent months, there has been some concern about corruption at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services after several officers were allegedly found with drugs at the prison.

A recent human rights report released by the U.S. State Department acknowledged corruption in the prison, and noted a study of the prison which revealed that 62 percent of inmates claim they have obtained drugs from staff at the prison.

Earlier this month, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said the government is taking a “zero tolerance” approach to corruption in law enforcement.

He told The Nassau Guardian, “…We’re cleaning up the system and the approach is that we’re taking these agencies – the police force, the corrections department and the defense force, we’re taking a zero-tolerance approach to those officers.”

Yesterday, Murphy pledged to do his “best to fulfill the mandate of the organization which is to rehabilitate and to successfully integrate into society those persons who are entrusted in our care”.

“Further, I will seek to foster cordial, cohesive and a professional environment which will be undergirded by discipline, the rule of law and fairness,” the commissioner said.

He added: “My duty, as commissioner, is to assist in changing the modus operandi which will result in the reformation of our culture and I pledge to provide strong and unbiased leadership and to seek more opportunities nationally and internationally which will provide officers with the knowledge, the skills of best practices of correctional management.”

Murphy, who previously headed the Maximum Security Unit, acted as commissioner after former Commissioner of Corrections Patrick Wright retired.

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues.
Education: Goldsmith, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice
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