Female prisoners cry victimisation because of sexual preference
…matter of policy to isolate predators from general population’ –Erskine
Kaieteur News – January 22, 2008
Three prisoners at the New Amsterdam Female Prison are alleging that they are being victimised because of their sexual preference. They are also alleging that the perpetrators of the act of victimisation are senior officers (names provided) at the institution. The women claim that when they report the incidents to the officer in charge of the prison they are penalised.
They are also alleging that they are forced to sit on the floor of their cell to eat, and indicated that their cell is in close proximity to that of another inmate who is of unsound mind and who urinates and excretes on the floor, with matter flowing over to their cell.
The women also accuse the authorities of segregating them from other prisoners when it is time for them to have showers and meals, and further, they are not being allowed any sunlight or exercise.
When contacted yesterday, Director of Prisons Dale Erskine noted that he was unaware of the specific case, but did acknowledge it was a matter of policy to isolate predators or vulnerable groups from the general population of prisoners.
He stressed that lesbian relationships are unlawful acts, and it is the responsibility of the officers at the facility to protect all of the inmates.
Erskine added that regarding the accusation that they were sitting on the floor to eat, the dormitories did not have several tables for that purpose, and it may be possible. He assured that, if proven true, all efforts would be made to remedy the situation.
“It’s not a matter of punishment …rather, we have to protect the general population.”
Erskine did promise an investigation into the allegations being made by the prisoners.