Prison officers want Port of Spain jail shut down

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Deopersad Ramoutar –

The Prison Officers Association is calling for Commissioner of Prisons Deopersad Ramoutar’s resignation and the closure of the Port of Spain prison.

This is part of the fallout over the riot at the prison on March 26.

The riot broke out after inmates became involved in an altercation between another inmate and a prison officer. It resulted in the death of one prisoner and left 17 officers and six inmates injured.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, general secretary of the association Lester Logie said the prison had outlived its usefulness.

He described it as a “hellhole” and said prison officers and inmates are made to deal with occupational safety and health (OSH) issues daily such as mould, broken cell gates and a shortage of slop pails, among other things.

Despite Ramoutar’s having just over a month of service left before his retirement, Logie and association president Gerard Gordon both called on him to resign. They said the association and its members had lost confidence in his leadership.

They said their confidence was further dented after Ramoutar made disparaging comments in a radio interview on Monday about the association’s role in addressing contraband being smuggled into the prison.