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(BVI PLATINUM) – The prisoners that were transferred from Her Majesty’s Prison to a St. Lucian correctional facility will be staying a little longer, as work to repair the hurricane damaged Balsam’s Ghut prison drags on.
The disclosure was made by His Excellency, Governor Augustus Jaspert at a press briefing last Thursday.
The Governor, who shares responsibility for Her Majesty’ Prison with Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn, announced that the return from St. Lucia would have to be phased.
In providing an update on the situation, Governor Jaspert said, “The bulk of the prisoners are still in St Lucia. The aim is, and the commitment is to get them back as soon as possible; and there is ongoing commitment both with the St. Lucian authorities and our own prison authority around that.”
His Excellency further noted that a number of steps are being taken here in the BVI to ensure that the prison at Balsam’s Ghut would be secured for the impending repatriation.
“Presently work is being done to repair the infrastructure of the prison, so we needed the prisoners out because the prison needed work to ensure it was fully secured, particularly the fencing and the perimeter, and some of the infrastructure. That is progressing, it is not yet 100 percent complete.”
The prisoners were expected to return by March this year, but at this point the Governor is not hazarding a guess as to how soon it would be until the Balsam’s Ghut facility is ready.
He said, “As soon as that’s complete we’ve got a plan to move the prisoners back in a phased return, and make sure that we get them back. That is something that I and the Minister are discussing and we hope to set out the timeline on that as the work continues on. We hope to have a firm timeline.”
It was disclosed previously that government pays $13,000 per month for upkeep of the 21 prisoners that were transferred to St. Lucia.
The high risk prisoners who were transferred are Andrew ‘Ratty’ Milton, Dennis ‘Soupy Campbell, Aaron George; Kareem Durante; Orlando Bonnick; Yan Edwards; Omarie Winter; Kenyatta Boynes; Alcedo Tyson; Devin Maduro; Deshawn Stoutt; Matthew Daniel Hazel; Jessroy McKelly; Jevone Demming; Sherman-Abdul Williams; Jerry Martin; Samuel Harris; Alberto Rosa De La Rosa; Lorne Parson; Allen Baptiste; and Shakoy Lavacia.