The use of cell phone jammers at Camp St Jail has been stopped

The use of cell phone jammers at Camp St Jail has been stopped

Although cell phone jammer had been installed at Camp Street Prison before the July 9 fire and jailbreak, their use has been halted due to some problems, the acting warden of prisons Gladwin Samuels revealed yesterday.

"There's a reason these jammers that were originally installed...that we had to take steps to refrain from using it, which I can't disclose here, but jammers were installed at the Camp Street prison before the fire, but there were setbacks which resulted in their non-use,” he told a news conference yesterday, while answering questions about the continued possession of mobile phones by prisoners and their frequent use of social media.

During raids on various prisons across the country, authorities found dozens of cell phones and other prohibited items.

One of the recommendations of last year's Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the Camp Street Prison fire was the "need for an effective jamming system to be installed for all mobile phones". It was recommended to be installed in high risk security blocks, if not throughout the prison compound.

Following this recommendation, large numbers of phones were discovered during raids on prisons and observers repeatedly wondered how prisoners had managed to smuggle them into the prison undetected.

Recently, detainees housed at the Alpage de Lusignan updated their Facebook pages and posted photos of their surroundings. Some also live-streamed chasing animals and slaughtering a cow.

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Samuels told reporters that inmates would secure cellphones in several ways, but he did not reveal any.

Last year, COI learned that items such as telephones had been smuggled into prison through “pockets”, where inmates hid contraband items up their anuses.

Yesterday Samuels only said some offenders were 'real men' and others were 'graded differently'. Those in the latter category, he added, would insert phones in various places. "But I can safely tell you that we would have found a 'real man' who secured one of those phones because after being disinfected and then re-sanitized he was found with the phone and...while cavity searches can be carried out, this should be done when you have reasonable cause. You cannot just search a prisoner's cavity because that will create serious conditions in the prison,” he added.

Samuels added that the public can speculate on what should and what could be done, but “the reality is that in order for us to carry out certain operations, it will require the use of force. If we do that, it will cause another situation, which I am sure this country is not ready for. And moreover, if we do, we will be reprimanded because it relates to why we are acting so recklessly.

He admitted to being disturbed by the fact that the prisoners are in possession of mobile phones and are online on Facebook. "I'm a sensible guy, but [prison guard Odinga] Wickham is already dead. Going and placing corrections officers and other joint service people to confront these guys, who are extremely angry, is going to create another situation, ”he said, before adding that after talking to his officers about two hours before the press conference, “a lot of the frustration demonstrated and expressed by these guys [the prisoners] is beyond the control of the corrections department.

Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan told reporters that two sanitation drills conducted in the pasture unearthed 22 mobile phones the first time and 27 the second time, in addition to “a whole set of weapons ".

“They are smart guys,” he said, while observing that the situation is dangerous and therefore the authorities do not want to risk “people [security personnel] coming in there and you do a dig, they're unlikely to put it in the ground somewhere.

Ramjattan said that knowing the current limitations, the prison authorities, with the help of the security forces, are trying to recover all “those objects which are foreign to the prisoners of the prisoners”.

When asked if there was a security failure given that the prisoners were in possession of phones, he replied: 'That is not necessarily the case, and understand the difficult situation we find ourselves in. found that night [July 9]…it's a lot of people we had to deal with and they were able to hide like they did in the first disinfection cycle. He wondered how thorough the officers could be under the circumstances. "I'm not trying to say we haven't done a good job. The perfect job we'll never know…as far as you know, there might still be a phone or two in there,” he pointed out.