BVI News

Rise in complaints from inmates | Complaints Commissioner calls for Human Rights body

Her Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut.

By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff

Complaints Commissioner Sheila Brathwaite has called for the creation of a Human Rights Commission in light of heightened complaints from inmates and families of inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison.

According to the 2020 Standing Finance Committee (SFC) report that released recently, Brathwaite said, “the most frequent complaints received pertained to the non-responsiveness of public officers”.

She further indicated to the SFC that “the consistent lack of response to matters leads to matters of the public deteriorating over time”. She said she drafted a memorandum to the Deputy Governor offering “suggestions for training and other initiatives as solutions to the above [issues]”. 

Brathwaite said her office had been prompted to visit the prison because of a number of concerning phone calls from inmates at the facility.

“There (at the prison) they found that the library was void of legal material and was able to show them several legal websites for research purposes. She further indicated the need for the Human Rights Commission given various complaints received from families and prisoners.” 


Meanwhile, the Complaints Commissioner stated that there is a need to amend the Complaints Commission Act to allow for their activities to be more effective.

Brathwaite also said there is a need for government entities to be given privacy in submitting complaints to the Commission.

“She further explained that there was a contradiction in the Complaints Commission Act which states that the officers act as mediators but then states that they should appoint a mediator and should not participate in mediation,” the SFC report said.

The Complaints Commissioner also called for the Complaints Commission Act to be given greater powers to allow for there to be consequences for non-performance within the public service.

She said although there have been improvements within the service, there are still some officers that are ‘nonchalant’ about their duties.

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  1. Real Talk says:

    Stuppes….Rewards for your bad deeds!

    Like 16
  2. A....... says:

    Human rights body my A**. Start a human rights body for the crime victims and their famalies that is what you need to do.seems like the crime victims and their famalies is treated like throw aways in this place.No one seems to care about the victims and their famalies.

    Like 24
  3. Oh pleaze says:

    They are getting three squares,a cot,a roof over their heads and free medical while the law abiding citizens can hardly make ends meet. The model inmates that is following the rules and is not causing any problems and just trying to do their time,I would give a break the ones that is always complaining about inhumane treatment is using and playing the system.

    Like 20
  4. Well says:

    MT from D2 opened this can of worms. I agree,they want to be rewarded for their bad behaviour. No kind of compassion for the victims or the famalies.

    Like 13
  5. As far says:

    They can feed them dog poop and cat urine.Human rights board for a bunch of savages the have gun down, chop up,and toss woman of balcony?

    Like 14
  6. Leave it up to me says:

    I would beat their A**es everyday.Just where the H*ll those inmates think they are? They are the bottom feeders of society and you A**es are falling for the games they are running. They are using and playing the system.

    Like 12
  7. Sick says:

    You people in the comments need the most prayer. For a country so full of churches where is the forgiveness instead of condemning others?
    Prisons of colonialism started with the Roman empire (who sucked large testicles btw) obviously has been a flawed system. But Europeans will pass their bad habits onto all other countries and like no brain fools we follow along.
    There are better strategies to deal with those who have committed crimes. Let’s innovate and allow changes to a failed model. Prison and criminal justice reform is happening right now in the most powerful country on earth due to a flawed structure put in place by the true criminals who have been raping and pillaging for centuries!!!
    Please let change come to these isles full of hate, fear and discrimination. Thank you.

    Like 3
    Dislike 16
  8. AMH says:

    How about a Human Rights Commission for law-abiding people of the BVI. Such as the people of West End breathing toxic smoke from the incinerator!

    Like 13
  9. Family Member of Inmate says:

    Those guards don’t care. Even if it’s a emergency they show no interest. I’ve watched other inmates cried their eyes out of frustration because of the ill-treatment they receive. The officers at HMP has more drama than the inmates themselves. Officers are charging one another for the dumbest of reasons. The officers are simply lazy. The officers are also Bias. I mean not because they’re in prison they deserve that treatment. Doing the time is enough stress to deal with.

    Like 5
    Dislike 12
    • @Family member of Inmate says:

      Have you ever thought about the pain that was inflicted on the victims when they were being killed or begging for their lives? Have you ever thought about the families that go to bed and wake up everyday with the permenant pain? Answer that!!!.

      Like 16
  10. Solution says:

    For prisoners worried about BVI human rights failures lets work on mutual agreements so they can bide our their time in St Lucia, Jamaica or Brixton

  11. Bla bla bla says:

    Yes as soon as the officers gets strick and recuse to succumb or pander to your callous trickery, your crying flow play and human rights are needed. What about the victims? Would you consider apologising profusely to the family and victims (if not dead)? Well look a joke they sill soon be eligible to become political candidates whilst serving time. Keep your heads on government. Ah telling yah.

  12. BS! says:

    I don’t think it’s financially viable for a country this size to operate a penal facility. This could be something that we could out-source to another Island at a reduced cost.

    Like 2
    Dislike 2
  13. Correct says:

    They need to first start with the Head come right down to those rude, disrespectful guards. They have no respect for people especially visitors. You should hear how they answer the phone like it’s their personal cellphone. It’s a free for all. Every minute fight broking out why? You might ask. Blame the lazy, incompetent guards they hire just to say they have a guard??who ain’t big, fat and out of shape are young, hungry looking and don’t know what they’re doing.

    Like 2
    Dislike 3
  14. Deh Watcha says:

    Sometimes its exactly what you wish for you get.

  15. * says:

    No problem. Let’s give them legal textbooks for the prison library. No one will read them, as that is not what they really want.

  16. free for all says:

    every day they getting to go home for birthdays, Christmas, etc the ppl they kill 6 feet under they have no chance their families only can look at a photo
    tell what fear?

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