Friday 15 December, 2017

Special committee to oversee prison officers' security concerns

President of the Prison Officers Association, Ceron Richards

President of the Prison Officers Association, Ceron Richards

The Prison Officer’s Association has expressed hopefulness following a meeting on Tuesday with Attorney General (AG) Faris Al-Rawi.

Speaking with LoopTT, President of the Association Ceron Richards said that an agreement had been reached between the two parties for a committee to be established to address the topic of putting a legal framework in place to protect prison officers.

“The AG has indicated to us that he will be setting up a special committee, which is expected to sit almost immediately, to look at legislation to put in place for the protection of prison officers. Several persons from various stake holder entities, including the Prison Officer’s Association, the Ministry of National Security, and of course the AG’s office itself, will be involved in this process.

So over the next six weeks, I believe, we are to look at and address several of the security issues that we as the association have raised over the years and especially in recent weeks with the end goal of bringing it all before parliament,” Richards said.

The association president noted that there were five “priority areas” for his organisation, however, he did not wish to disclose what they were.

The Association has given the Government several proposals, including issuing some, high-risk prison officers legal firearms to have while off duty, as well as an implementation of a Law Enforcement Officers' Safety Act, which Richards believes is key to the protection of prison officers, and by extension, law enforcement officials in this country.