Security concerns over prison watch towers

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SIX watch towers around the Bomana Prison have been in darkness for about five years, making it difficult for officers to keep an eye on the prison and prisoners, officer Joe Jamason says.
“In fact, it is a security risk to guards manning the prison without a functional tower and lights,” Inspector Jamason said.
He said some cells were also in darkness and prisoners were using candles given by churches for lighting.
Those towers, according to Jamason, were built about 40 years ago and have not been used for five years at least. “Our guards used
to be stationed in those towers but they are not safe to use,” he said.
“The lights have been worn out and snakes are believed to be living in there.”
Jamason said it was unsafe guarding about 700 prisoners in the dark at nights.
“Anyone can come and kill the guards because they have no lights to help them.
“This is difficult because we don’t have radio to communicate with other guards in different stations. We are providing security in darkness and without radio,” Jamason said.
They also do not have proper gear to wear in the rain or during bad weather, he said.
Acting commissioner Stephen Pokanis visited the site yesterday and confirmed the situation.
Pokanis said power problem was among many things they were looking to improve this year.
He said buildings in the prison were “very old and many of them needed uplifting”.
“There has been continuous blackouts that has affected the lives of prisoners and it would be looked into this year,” he said.
The prison guards and their families have thanked Pokanis for visiting the prison to identify issues.