While stating he supports the idea of a British Virgin Islands native heading Her Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut, former Superintendent of Prison David Foot said there are no locals currently capable of running the prison.
He said the current crop of local prison officials is, frankly, not ready.
“Right now, from the persons who are available, it needs more time for those people to get the skills. They need to come into some of the more middle-management and more senior management positions and gain experience.”
However, Foot said a number of local prison officials are currently being coached to eventually qualify to head the prison.
He said these locals are part of an ‘intensive development programme’ that trains them to become professional prison managers.
The former prison boss further said the programme is a collaborative effort with the UK prison service.
“What I firmly believe is that there are persons from the Virgin Islands who — over the next few years — if they continue through that process, will be capable and will become Superintendent of Prisons, without a shadow of a doubt.”
Talk about locals not heading the prison comes at a time when government has appointed another expatriate as the next Superintendendent of Prison.
He is St Lucia native, Verne Garde.
Despite Garde’s experience as a former Director of Corrections for Bordelais Correctional Facility in St Lucia and his 23 years in criminal justice, a number of locals have expressed displeasure about his appointment since he is not a British Virgin Islander.
Garde has been appointed on a two-year contract that will officially begin on July 2. However, the St Lucian must undergo a six-month probationary period.
As the new prison boss, Garde will also serve as government’s Chief Advisor on all matters pertaining to prison management and rehabilitation.
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