Highlands prisons urged to be alert

National, Normal


A SENIOR Correctional Services (CS) officer from the Highlands says the escape of high-risk prisoners from the Bomana maximum security facility has exposed a glaring lack of alertness.
“It is shocking that a woman claiming to be a human rights lawyer could just walk in with a pistol to help free the likes of a bank robber and a serial rapist.
“The escape is an eye opener and officers manning the jails in the Highlands must take extra precaution when handling high profile prisoners,” he said.
The officer, who wished to remain anonymous, said when a prisoner like William Kapris could walk out of a maximum security prison without bloodshed, “there is really something wrong with the system which sorely needs to be reviewed”.
“It is a wake-up call to all prison nationwide to tightened up their security and ensure that all visitors a properly screened.”
The CS officer said manpower shortage was one of the main contributors to the frequent jailbreaks.
“After a retrenchment exercise in 2007, the vacant positions were never filled.
“Prison officers are also in need of firearms to help maintain order.
“The lack of firearms gives prisoners the impression that security is lax. It actually encourages them to plan escapes,” he added.
“The performance of CS officers is also affected by the lack of promotions and salary increments compared with others, like the police,” the officer said.
Another senior CS officer claimed that his salary had remained at K390 for the last 15 years.
Both officers urged the CS Department to quickly look into the outstanding issues to help raise morale and performance.