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Government Justifies Expenditure on New Correctional Facility

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Contact: Primus Hutchinson

Thursday, June 26, 2003 - Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony, has decried what he said were deplorable and sub-human conditions that prevailed at Her Majesty’s Prison in down town Castries. Dr. Anthony said it were those very concerns, along with the need to maintain national security that prompted government to build the multi-million dollar Dennery based Bordelais facility.

The remarks from Dr. Anthony came against the background of having undertaken an extensive tour of the old prison. Accompanied by other government ministers, prison officers and members of the media, the prime minister indicated that after witnessing the dehumanising state in which prisoners spent their everyday lives, he was convinced more than ever, that government had acted wisely in constructing the new prison.

According to Dr. Anthony, the conditions that existed at Her Majesty’s Prisons do not justify the treatment meted out to both prisoners and prison officers alike. Dr. Anthony argued, that anyone exposed to the conditions at the old prisons, would agree that the expenditures on the Bordelais Correctional Facility were justifiable.

“I believe that Bordelais has done very well so far, and I can well understand why persons are interested in the operations of Bordelais. But I do hope that after seeing the conditions at Her Majesty’s Prisons, then it would be understood how important that investment really is to the country as a whole. Our very security was at stake.” Prime Minister Anthony said.

The prime minister singled out maintenance as one factor that should have received greater attention at the old prison. Dr. Anthony made specific reference to the kitchen environment and Bakery. He expressed the view that perhaps some greater sensitivity on these matters could have been displayed in the past, to make life at Her Majesty’s Prison far more tolerable.

St. Lucians will enjoy far greater security as a result of government investing in the Dennery based Bordelais Correctional Facility.

Government is also contemplating moving the operations of the Central Police Station to the old prison some time in the near future. The last batch of prisoners left for the Bordelais Correctional Facility early Tuesday.

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