Guard dogs may be introduced at Her Majesty’s Prison to enhance security and overall operations at the Balsam Ghut-based penitentiary.
Provisions to introduce dogs are written in the Prison Act 2018 Bill which is now being debated in the House of Assembly.
While making his contribution to the debate on Tuesday, Health Minister Ronnie Skelton raised concern about the introduction of the animals at the prison.
“I just look at some of these dreadful things that I see on television where they use dogs to really hurt people and they call it ‘appropriate force’. I think we need to ensure that there are some specific [ways outlined on how] you can use the dogs in the law,” Skelton said.
Inmates can be asked to provide semen
The Health Minister also raised concern about another section of the bill that deals with certain powers of the director of the prison.
In its current form, the bill gives the prison director the authority to demand blood, urine, and other biometric data from inmates.
“I think when you go as far as to say ‘semen’, I think you’re really going too far and that needs some court order or something. I think that’s a step too far,” Skelton said.
The Prison Act 2018 bill was brought before the House through the minister responsible for prison, Myron Walwyn and, if passed, will serve as repeal and replacement to the age-old Prison Ordinance.
The bill effectively seeks to modernise the territory’s legal framework with respect to the management and security of prisons and the rehabilitation of inmates, Walwyn said.
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