By Davion Smith, BVI News Online Journalist
While noting that he has been made aware of overcrowding and other problems such as indiscipline at Her Majesty’s Prison, recently installed governor Augustus Jaspert said he is ruling out no option to have the issues resolved.
Among those solutions he may consider is transferring disorderly prisoners to correctional facilities in the United Kingdom.
“I am aware that some of the other overseas territories have done prisoner transfer. At this point, I don’t, usually, ever take any option off the table for improving things,” said Governor Jaspert.
He, along with education minister Myron Walwyn, has responsibility for the local prison.
“I don’t know if that (prison transfer) is the right answer or not because I haven’t been to the prison; I haven’t spoken to the minister,” the governor told members of the media during a ‘meet-and-greet’ held at Government House yesterday afternoon, August 29.
He will officially meet Walwyn on Friday.
“Within that, a joint aim – which I’m sure he shares – is about how we make sure that the prison is a strong place of justice and a strong place of rehabilitation. That’s something that I look forward to taking forward with the minister,” added Governor Jaspert, who was sworn in a week ago.
Regarding the issue of overcrowding at Her Majesty’s Prison, the governor told journalists: “I don’t know how overcrowding is at this point. I have been briefed up on it, but I haven’t had a chance to visit to see for myself. But my general approach is, if there is any option, it should always be on the table and to work through what’s the best option for the right time and the right situation. So, that is what I will be discussing as we go forward on the prison.”
“The prison is an actual critical part of a strong criminal justice system,” added the governor, who worked in various security-related positions in the United Kingdom. “I am quite familiar with the vitality of strong prisons as part of upholding justice as a whole,” he noted.
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