Thursday, May 28, 2020
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Prison officers: Stopping slopping a priority

Officers at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services called on the government to take the health of officers into consideration and address the issue of “slopping” by inmates in the prison.

Correctional Officers Staff Association President Corporal Ryan Wilson told The Nassau Guardian, “The only concern as it relates to that is although with the renovations, we’re still slopping as an institution. You know, we want the renovations to include the slopping to cease too.”

When asked what was meant by “slopping”, Wilson said, “The inmates are defecating in buckets as we speak. With that environment that is toxic to staff, if we could eliminate that, that would be a plus for the staff because if the renovations are going on that means that needs to be a key element in the renovations moving forward.”

The corporal said the defecation into buckets is toxic because there is little ventilation in the prison, which forces officers to endure the smell of, and exposure to, the feces.

He said the act of inmates using buckets for toilets needs to be “eradicated from the institution”.

“It is not an environment conducive to staff, inmates or visitors because you know we have visitors coming in to visit their loved ones and you know the conditions are not up to par,” Wilson said.

“It is threatening to the health for officers and inmates as well as the visitors, the visiting public who is coming in to view, to see their loved ones. Everyone is in danger health wise.”

During a recent tour of the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services (BDOCS), Commissioner of Corrections Charles Murphy told The Nassau Guardian that renovations are underway to improve the conditions at the prison.

Several blocks in the Maximum Security Correction Center are being renovated to included televisions and air conditioning.

Murphy said plans are also underway to construct a new facility on the prison grounds to address the severe overcrowding problem at BDOCS.

He said the cells in the new facility will include toilets for inmates.

Wilson applauded the government for its aggressive approach toward improving the conditions of the prison.

“They’re taking steps in the right direction,” he said.

“Hopefully, with the new building, we can transfer some of the inmates out of the old facilities into that new facility to decrease the overcrowding and also encourage a healthy living and healthy environment for some of the inmates…You know, you would still want them to be treated humanely.”

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