BVI News

Shift in inmates behaviours seen with non-punitive disciplinary action — HMP boss

Superintendent of Prison Vern Garde.

Superintendent of Prison Verne Garde said enforcing non-punitive measures towards rebellious inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) is paying off.

Garde’s remarks were made in response to queries by BVI News on how management at the facility dealt with bullying at the Balsam Ghut-based adult penitentiary.

“Bullying is an issue in schools, at the churches, in the workplace, and it is certainly an issue at the prison,” he said.

Garde further said HMP now has an Intelligence, Investigation and CCTV Unit to monitor various inmates with refractory behaviour and bullying tendencies.

He said if an inmate is caught bullying, they are “brought in and they receive some counselling, guidance and instruction in regards to their temperament. So we do pay attention to issues such as the propensity for bullying.”

We do things differently

The prison boss further stressed that inmates are treated humanely at the rehabilitative facility.

“There are punishments here at the facility, but the punishments are designed differently. They are individuals that come from households that essentially they are abused and applying normal punitive measures on these individuals may have absolutely no effect because they know it already. So what do we do? We use non-traditional measures to manage these individuals,” Garde explained.

“For example, loss of association. It is very painful when individuals are taken away from some of their friends. We do apply softer punitive measures on individuals to make behaviour modification. [However], we have to use innovative measures with the same amount of discomfort but more humane,” he added.

Our methods are working

Garde pointed out that since he took over the reins and implemented a different methodology towards running of the prison, they “have seen a paradigm shift in regards to inmates’ behaviour”. 

“We have not used the traditional punitive measures, and it seems to be working,” he said.

Roughly 129 individuals are currently housed at the prison.


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  1. Sleeping Dog! says:

    This is the result you get when you hire someone who knows about corrections…..Accountability, order and control. Big up to the Superintendent, keep up the good work!.

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  2. Really says:

    That superintendent is a lair, so if you want to believe everything you hear or read go right ahead, because I know first hand that, that is not true.

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  3. Saddened but Knowledgeable says:

    The facts of the matter are clear and there for anyone with eyes to see. The staff morale at the prison has never been lower. Mr God (Spelling Intentional) has proven himself to be a man whose word means nothing.

    He has kissed up … and he continues to pull his nice sounding … game on those who dont care to look deeply into what kind of the place that the prison has become under this eg*******s watch.

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  4. Peaches says:

    When will the issue of bullying be addressed in the Government offices?

    Premier you said you would look into it, but nothing is being done.

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  5. Reno says:

    That man mash up the prison.the I divided the locals them are shut out of promotions

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  6. Boii says:

    You ever hear about sheep in wolf clothing

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  7. Reality check says:

    When a man works without corruption there is always a problem. Humans like a mess. One needs to understand the dynamics to see the system at work. From a noisy bawl to an organize system is what that has happened at this institution. Stop trying to put down a man who knows what he is doing and you see it. If the staff is not working with him it would be chaotic.

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  8. Inspired says:

    Ask St .Lucian prisons and officers about staff morale and bullying when he left. You are quick to want a change. Be careful what you wish for. Stop wanting to take a job that you know you cannot manage. Let the man work and be alert to learn from his achievements as well as his errors. Someone has to be able amongst you to carry on when he leaves. Hope it is a BV islander. Mr.God ( spelling intentional) did not come to stay. I am sure that after running two successful prisons othrr countries including his would not mine having him. Look for ways of continuing to improve the situation with the man not keeping it back with your foolishness

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    • Saddened but Knowledgeable says:

      Inspired – Do your fingers hurt from clicking on the thumbs down button so many times on any posts that are critical of your idol? I am an employee at HMPS at I stand behind all of the comments that you speak of.

      Mr God (Spelling Intentional) has crippled all parts of the prison up to and including the rehab system that he so often brags on. My coworkers are going through the motions and feeling hopeless as the powers that be have not reined this head of prisons in.

      No one there feels that his word means anything and the cuts that he has made to the outside programs that he cant control will wind up costing the government money in the long run.

      Perhaps on that Joyfull morning when King Gods time is up ….you can join him on the flight and continue to cuddle in Saint Lucia.

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  9. Reality check says:

    So you went to prison and you were treated humanely and things are in a mess. Is this what you are saying. Haha

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  10. Angel says:

    Well articulated. With his wealth of knowledge about prisons, it shows in the way he carries out his duty. It always shows that he isn’t treating prisoners as lesser humans by implementing punitive measure but rather measures to change behavior which will be a plus to society when these inmates are reintegrated into society.

    Change is never something embraced by all individuals in an organisation. When we are accustom to doing things one way (even if it may be wrong) we tend to have reservations. The change that the superintendent have brought to the prisons is visible and moving in a positive direction.

    Keep up the good work and continue to raise the standards at HMP with the high levels of professionalism you display.

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  11. VI says:

    He needs to pay those officers he put in higher positions with doubled responsibilities, but same small salary and expect them to perform

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  12. Respect says:

    This method of rehabilitation really works. Is has been tested and worked producing significant results in modifying inmate behavior at the Bordelais Correctional Facilty. A recommendation I would endorse to be use by correctional facilities. Further it improve staff morale,respect for staff and inmate participation in rehabilitative programs. It really works.

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  13. Jane says:

    I observed Superintendent Garde give his annual oral update to the BVI Court in July this year. The gentlemen spoke for over an hour, with no notes and no assistance. The level of his knowledge of the prison, its inmates and the staff was truly impressive. The Judge asked him many questions, and he answered all of them comprehensively and without hesitation. Rarely have I seen a public servant display such clear ability in their role. I was impressed. The prison is in good hands under Superintendent Garde’s leadership.

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  14. Saddened but Knowledgeable says:

    Another nice sounding lie! I challenge the Governor, The Minister in charge of the Prison, and An opposition member to meet with my fellow employees and I in a confidential setting away from Mr. God (Spelling Intentional)and hear from the people on the ground. The superintendent and a small group of cowardly kiss ups are the only ones drinking the sweet Saint Lucian kool aid.

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  15. Inspired says:

    It would be interesting to find out how many of these officers have been really trained in the job that they are being paid to do. If not do the research before deciding on things. Sometimes the rehab needs to start with the staff.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Saddeded but knowledgeable, as I said not all will be wins but you learn from it and you give input. If this forum was not available I wonder if he would have gotten your valuable opinion. You can’t wait for your own system to fail. I think he too knows that he is no there to stay. I hope you are preparing yourself to take on the mantle and rein in those big shoes you will have to fit into.

  17. Fairness says:

    Congratulations. Continue to share your skills and knowledge. The results always show. Keep pressing forward. Cheers to you. Hurray!!!!

  18. Robert says:

    Sadden but Knowledgeable, you seem to have a vested interest in the man and not the massage. The protection of every inmate is the responsibility of the Superintendent of Prison. He saw your spiritual ploy from Genesis. But your story will be chronicled in due time. I remember that story in the bible about the false prophets trying to lead the congregation astray. Well well well right right Wright (spelt correctly)

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  19. Robert “Storm” Wright says:

    The comment “Robert” was brought to my attention early this morning. Let me make two things perfectly clear. On the rare occasions that I blog I have signed my name to every single post. Anything that I say privately I can say public ally.

    I have no idea why my name was brought up in a childish manner but it is what it is.

    I do have some issues with the superintendent of prisons policies toward our program but nothing against him personally.

    I do have some issues with the cowardly way some of the senior staff have conducted themselves by talking about the same superintendent in the dark and running when the lights come on. Some of the senior office even those with the words Pastor in their names have not acted in a manner consistent with the ordination.

    Let me be clear, I am not whoever wrote under the tittle saddened but knowlageble, I believe that whatever you have to say to a man should be said to that man knowing that there is freedom of speech but not freedom from consequences.

    I have control over the prison ministry that I have been given not prison policy.

    God will judge the genuine as of every mans heart.

    The prison management needs to pay its outstanding bill to my company and if anyone eny where wants to know how I feel on a matter. Find me ask me.

  20. I KnowInmates says:

    Hands down the prison is crap and Verene def aint twll the truth i wish the heads of government would go in the prison and aak inmatea for themselves how they are being treated

  21. asdfghjk says:

    praise him now, when myron brought him in it was loan kick up. keep up the good work buddy

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