Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jail Breaks

Ever since I first heard this story, a couple of things have made me go hmmm.  First - the story:

A routine check of cells at the St. Kitts prison turned up a number of contraband items. Of course, there's nothing surprising about that, such occurrences happen all the time in jails/prisons around the world. But here are the questions:

Now I've watched the interview of the prison superintendent on ZIZ TV, which is a bit different than what ZIZ's written article says. On TV, the guy says that a laptop typically used to listen to music by the guards was "found" in a cell and seemed surprised by it. In the written article it seems the laptop was given to the prisoner. Which was it? Plus, the superintendent said he wasn't sure if the computer had wi-fi capability so had given it to the police. If the prison gets an unsecured internet signal, then the prisoner had wi-fi access. It's not rocket science.

Then they said they found 2 cell phone batteries and a couple of make-shift mobile phone chargers (which they find regularly). HELLO??!!!! Someone clearly has a frickin' cell phone. Cavity search!!!!  Plus, it's not that hard to jam a cell phone signal. If a prisoner does get his hands on a phone (and they obviously have) but there's no signal for them to use it, big whoop.

And lastly, I was amazed when the superintendent said that there would be no punishment to the prisoners who were found with these contraband items (including makeshift weapons). His reasoning was that his staff couldn't do the searches (they were too busy trying to maintain security). The police and Defense Force had done them so, you know, what could anyone really do. Huh? If the cops can't charge these fools with another misdemeanor, felony, or whatever, then who the heck can?

Anyone found with a weapon in prison should be given an automatic extended sentence. If the criminals are awaiting a trial court date, notice of the weapon should be allowed as evidence and automatically require a minimum sentence or probation. Seriously, this system over-punishes people for petty theft and then almost looks the other way when it comes to violent stuff. The new police commissioner is going to fix this right???