Dames: Prison renovations will exceed $1 million
The government will spend more than $1 million on the mass renovation of buildings at The Bahamas Department of Correctional Services, Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said yesterday.
“We’re in the hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Dames told reporters.
“I don’t have the correct figure with me at this time. We’re in the hundreds of thousands. There’s just so much to do there as you can see. When we look at the maximum security the conditions there for decades, I mean this commissioner I commend him. He has taken it before himself to correct and change the current conditions there.
“That particular facility, maximum security, we haven’t had work done there in probably decades and he’s working to ensure that he makes the corrections and renovations one block at a time, and as you can see many of those cells and those blocks are like new. We’re putting in air condition. We’re putting in bedding.
“We’re spending a significant amount of money on bedding for the inmates because if we’re moving to a rehabilitative model that’s one thing, but if the physical conditions of the environment to which our officers are called on to work and these inmates are housed are not at a standard that we all can be pleased with, or that is acceptable, then it makes rehabilitation that much more challenging and we can understand that.”
Asked if the renovations will cost more than $1 million, Dames said, “I anticipate that as we continue to correct and renovate and to build, [yes] we’ll be over the number. There’s no doubt about it and there’s a lot of work to do.”
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 include 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.