Mon | Jun 17, 2019

Fort Augusta prisoners go live on Facebook again, claim abuse of rights

Published:Monday | January 14, 2019 | 11:36 AM
The inmates claim they are being denied medication and food by prison authorities and in one instance, an inmate was abused.

Danae Hyman, Online Reporter

Inmates at the Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre last night again took to Facebook Live, claiming that since their first appearance to raise security concern, the authorities have been violating their rights.

In the video, which is four minutes and 15 seconds long, inmates dressed in full body disguise, said they were being denied medication and food by prison authorities and in one instance, an inmate was abused.

 

“The mere fact we mek media kno wah gwan inna the prison and how much people a get injured and the superintendent and officers for the prison a cover it up, officers start to deal with us a way even on our own food line. Officers hardly want (to) serve us medication. We need help. Our rights are being violated,” one inmate said. 

 

The inmates first went live on Facebook last week after a prisoner was stabbed several times by another.

They claimed that the attacker posed a threat to them and should have long been isolated.

The attacker who is awaiting trial for a 2016 murder in Ocho Rios, St Ann is also before the court on a charge of unlawful wounding in connection with the stabbing of another inmate last year.

However, prison authorities say there was no previous reason to have isolated the attacker.

In the latest video, the inmates showed footage of the attacked prisoner wearing several bandages.

The inmates alleged that since the prisoner's return from hospital, a male overseer has assaulted her, leaving bruises on her neck.

This morning, Dexter Thompson, the director of corporate communications and public relations at the Department of Correctional Services refuted claims that prison officials are denying inmates food and medication.

"They are still getting all the services we offer. The department is about rehabilitation so there are things that they will be required to do that others will see as punitive but it’s about rehabilitating them. We cannot and have not punished them, what we have done is asked them to give up the phone and as you can see, they have not done so,” he said.

Thompson also said prisoners, knowing they have an audience, may self inflict wounds and blame prison officials.

Meanwhile, Thompson said since last week's stabbing, the perpetrator has been in solitary confinement.

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