Pointe Blanche Prison inhumane treatment leads to hunger strike

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Dear Editor,

The staff and inmates are fed up with the inhumane and degrading treatment of management at Pointe Blanche prison.

The guards are badly short-staffed and forced to work 16 hours per day in an inhumane situation. The prison gates are rusty, and the prison is filthy. The inmates and guards requested management to have the gates and prison cleaned for their health issues, but management has ignored this request.

The prison needs some serious attention. The Director of the prison is not functioning in the right manner, inmates are being locked up 22 hours per day with no recreational programs, no education programs, no rehabilitation programs, and no re-socialization programs. Several inmates have requested to see the dentist and eye specialist, but unfortunately they were not granted. This is because the inmates have no money.

This has led to one inmate going on a hunger strike since December 12, 2016. This particular inmate’s vision has begun to diminish. The nurses at the Pointe Blanche prison are aware of this current situation, and did inform management of the situation, but management has never looked into the health of the inmate.

The guards are completely fed up with the inhumane treatment at the prison.

We are calling on the Country St. Maarten to look into this matter. Since 10-10-10 the prison has been facing some serious issues, and nothing has been done to improve the environment. The prison is badly understaffed. Sometimes four guards work a 16-hour shift. This is unsafe for both inmates and staff.

Name withheld at author’s request.