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New UNC Senator laments tragedy of T&T prison system

Mar 23, 2010

from Jai Parasram's blog:

Opposition Senator Verna St Rose Greaves made an emotional appeal to government Tuesday to improve prison conditions in Trinidad and Tobago as part of a strategy for dealing with crime.

In her maiden speech in the Upper House, St Rose Greaves spoke about the country's high crime rate and in particular the recent murder of four members of one family.

“When they rolled those four coffins out, it rocked me to my core. So if I cry, I apologise, but I cry for the nation as we have ignored our responsibilities,” St Rose Greaves said in her contribution to the debate on the Prison Amendment Bill.

....She said the offshore prison at Carrera Island prison lacks a water system and prisoners empty buckets of raw faeces into the sea daily through a hole in the prison wall, which she said they also use as a toilet.

“Grown men and women without sanitary facilities are forced to defecate in the presence of fellow prisoners without privacy, into bottles, plastic bags and on paper to be poured into a plastic bucket...and we talk about human rights and urgency and restorative justice,” she stated.

She described conditions where inmates are packed "like sardines" in hammocks and on cardboard on the ground and with the years-old stench of urine in the concrete, noting that the conditions present ideal conditions for disease.

Read the whole entry.

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