Update : Tuesday, March 28, 2006
"Every day it hurts my heart to think of what they did to us. I still smell smoke and get nightmares of inmates threatening to bull me and then kill me. We were not the aggressors" says Robert. [not his real name]
The following information has been provided to FPSS by a former Prison Officer at Glendairy who has requested his identity remain annonymous. We shall refer to him simply as 'Robert'.
I have noticed that Mr. Donaldson has added to his account suggesting that the Superintendent of Prisons and his Deputy are torturing inmates, both national and non-national. I must suggest that Mr. Donaldson stop this unprovoked attack on the character on the person who, for the first time in the history of the prison system of Barbados, allowed inmates to have computers, radios and walkmans in their cells. This adminstration also permitted visits to be made by children on their parents.
What happened on March 29, changed every thing. Mr. Donaldson does not say, conveniently so that inmates were literally going mad. They were threatening us and in fact some of our officers were injured. When fire officers came to put out the fires they were pelted by the very inmates they were trying to save.
In the following days and weeks, the inmates had control of the prison. We could not even enter the area where they were confined. We had no choice but to find some way of bringing back law and order to the prison. Things came to a head when an inmate threw urine on a police officer. That was the final straw. We HAD to do something.
I am proud of the actions of the prison and police personel after the fire. There was minimus loss of life. In addition no one escaped. Even though the inmates tried to get an inmate to drive the tractor through the wall. I can only imagine what would have happened if ten or more of them had escaped on that day.
The fact of the matter was that the inmates declared war on us. We could not have backed down. Our job was to protect the people of this country from those who have no respect for the rights of others.
As to the stopping of visits. Before they burned the prison they were getting visits at will. What did they expect after they deliberately burned the prison. To be rewarded? THEY STARTED IT. We only finished it.
About the food, they burned the kitchen, which Mr. Donaldson admitted contained chickens, if they destroyed the food that was being prepared what do they expect? Hotel service?
I assure Mr. Donaldson that his account will not go unchallenged. The truth will come out.
We remain commited to the preservation of peace in this country and we will not falter in doing our jobs. Neither will we give in to those who would seek to terrorise and intimidate us.
By the way, was Mr. Donaldson himself ever placed in the container? I say NO. So how can he say for sure what went on in there? Is he taking the word of criminals? People who are not saints? The fact that he left prison without being harmed is evidence that not every one was tortured by prison officers.
It is easy to find support for what I say. Just ask Mr. Donaldsaon how much of what he said was seen first hand by him. In addition, consider the amount of inmates who would have left prison since the fire. How come none have made the claims that he has made? Are we to suppose that he saw more than all of the others? How come that he was protected by Jah Hall? What did Jah Hall see in him that was worth protecting?
On another point that can be disproven.
Mr. Donaldson claims that Serial (real name withheld by FPSS) was shot going to get water. What nonsense. Why would Serial in an area close to a fence, when orders were given that that area was off limit? Do we have mad men working in prison? Serial was testing to see how far he could get. He learned the hard way that we were not tolerating escape attempts. I must also state that Serial just started a thirty (30) years sentence. Motive enough for him to want to escape.
Mr. Donaldson's account is subjective emotive and highly prejudicial. I see it as an attempt to undermine the prison department. I will not stand for that. He talks about black people treating black people badly. Come on! Are we to allow inmates to take over the prison and then the country simply because of race? No way.
Let me end this by giving you something positive about the officers.
After the fire we worked non stopped. We would come in on mornings and work right through to the next day. At times we would just break to get a snack and then return to the front line. Often times buying food for each other. We endured the abuse. Just imagine facing upawards of five hundred inmates shouting "Go home they don't want any fucking warders, wunna stinking bullers, they got to let we go. Go to fuck home". That was abuse. That was what we faced on a daily basis, yet we returned day after day to that torment by these innocent, little angels.
Every day it hurts my heart to think of what they did to us. I still smell smoke and get nightmares of inmates threatening to bull me and then kill me. We were not the aggressors. Mr. Donaldson was right, we exercised great restraint in the face of clear and continuing danger.
One officer was severely beaten and robbed. They even took away his note book and started to read what was in it in mockery. That officer had to be counselled for the trauma he was forced to endure at the hands of criminals. They even tried to enter the female section to "f**k" the females. What nice, innocent boys.
Copyright @ FPSS 28 March 2006
South American Prisons Information