Prison officials meet with Chief Secretary

Prisons Commissioner John Rougier (left) receives a book on Tobago from THA Chief Secretary Orville London when they met at the Calder Hall Administrative Complex, Scarborough on Friday. Photo courtesy THA Info Dept.
Prisons Commissioner John Rougier has described THA Chief Secretary Orville London as “interested and passionate” about seeing improvements to the Tobago prison.

Rougier was among prison officials who met with London to discuss issues as it relates to Tobago’s prison and the way forward, following the “International Corrections Conference” last week in Port of Spain.

Adding that this has always been the concern of the Chief Secretary who has always been raising it, Rougier said “I think for certain if we continue we will definitely see some solutions as far as the Tobago facility is concerned.”

In March, London wrote to National Security Minister Brigadier John Sandy reminding him of his commitment to deal urgently with at least four issues of security in Tobago, the prison facility being one of them.

Rougier said visiting warden from the US Federal Prisons System Carlyle Holder gave some good ideas for short term measures which can be used while waiting on the permanent structures. He added “I am certain based on that the Chief Secretary would have some discussion with the Central Government as far as the suggestion that were made by our specialist from America.”

Holder offered to invite American experts to have discussions with the Central Government and National Security Sandy on the matter if possible. “I know that the Chief Secretary has expressed that interest as well to meet with them to give his two bits, to give his idea, as to what the needs as far as the Tobago facility or a new short term facility is concerned to ease some of the issues that exist, in terms of the corrections system and the correction facility is concerned”.

Holder, who is also Director of the United States and Caribbean Alliances of Criminal and Social Justice Professionals, said the team appraised London on the outcome of the conference which dealt with corrections and modernisation and how to make their profession better in meeting the needs of people and the inmates. Holder added that they also discussed with London a lot of emerging issues in terms of transforming the prison systems away from retribution to rehabilitation and providing those under their care with opportunities to be law abiding citizens when they leave the facilities.


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