The Prison Officers Association Second Division believes that the issues being faced by the Prison Service is by design to make the system fail, as a means to privatize the service.
The issues they say include a continued lack of resources, delays in promised infrastructure upgrades and slow staff recruitment.
The Association’s President Ceron Richards says while other arms of National Security can boast of the acquisition of high-tech vehicles, equipment, new facilities and upgraded uniforms, Prisons are being starved of the basic resources to execute its mandate.
Mr. Richards went into detail regarding some of the prisons, comparing the conditions at the Port of Spain Prisons to those experienced in the days of the slave trade and indentureship.
He identified issues such as overcrowding, rodent infestations, diseases, a lack of security, poor lighting, dilapidated fencing and water woes, among others,
Mr. Richards adds that Prisons Officers who also are consistently denied accoutrements according to terms and conditions, such as uniforms, boots and pocket diaries have had enough.
He says the Association wants the Prime Minister and National Security Minister to address the concerns of Prisons Officers and clear the air as a means to bring some level of resolve to the plight of the Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service.