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Prison Act 2018 going too far?

-Bill demands biofluids such as semen, blood and saliva
October 4th, 2018 | Tags: Myron V. Walwyn Ronnie W. Skelton
Honourable, Ronnie W. Skelton (at right) and Hon. Myron V. Walwyn (AL), the Minister for Education and Culture. Photo: VINO/File
The HM Prison in Balsam Ghut. Photo: VINO/File
The HM Prison in Balsam Ghut. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton (AL) is in disagreement with sections of the proposed provisions to the Virgin Islands (UK) Prison Act of 2018.

Speaking during the debate phase at the October 2, 2018, sitting of the House of Assembly, Hon Skelton said the bill is “going too far” especially in sections where it is demanding semen samples from prisoners.

“When you go so far as to say semen! I really think you’re going too far and that needs some order,” the Health Minister said.

Biological fluids

Other sections of the bill which was brought before the house by the Minister who has jurisdiction over Prisons; the controversial Minister for Education and Culture Honourable Myron V. Walwyn (AL), spoke on the issue of prisoners being subjected to give samples of bodily fluids like blood and saliva.

He also raised safety concerns in response to plans for the introduction of canines and provision for Prison Officers to be bestowed with the same level of authority as trained police officers.

The “semen” demand was not the only issue in the bill for Hon Skelton, he questioned whether there was oversight to the Director of Prison. “The Director of that prison still has that ultimate power or powers... It’s not clear to me that there’s any checks or balance to ensure he doesn’t abuse that,” Hon Walwyn noted.

The training plans for the prison officers could potentially bring the unit on par with their counterparts at the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF).

Improving facilities 

On the other hand, Hon Skelton proposed that steps be taken to remove the negativity that comes with incarceration by changing the facility’s name from Her Majesty’s Prison to Virgin Islands Correctional Facility, a consideration that Minister, Hon Walwyn is contemplating.

According to Hon Walwyn, the Prison Act of 2018 seeks to modernize the Territory’s legal framework with respect to the management and security of prisons, with much focus on the rehabilitation of prisoners. “The principles are intended to ensure that the human rights of prisoners are respected and their rehabilitation and reintegration into society, among other things,” Hon Walwyn said.

Part of this Act will also mandate the establishment of an independent board to hear complaints of prisoners, arrange food inspections, inquire into the health of prisoners and report cases of abuse within the prison.

The bill will return on the table when the House sits on October 4, 2018.

16 Responses to “Prison Act 2018 going too far? ”

  • waste ah time (04/10/2018, 11:44) Like (16) Dislike (16) Reply
    any thing funny man touch go over it with a fine tooth comb
    • Reply (04/10/2018, 12:42) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      Really!!!!. Wait for it.
    • Just Woke (04/10/2018, 13:23) Like (33) Dislike (1) Reply
      This fight just start. Its. Going to get more dirty and nasty as election get closer
    • @waste ah time (04/10/2018, 14:44) Like (8) Dislike (8) Reply
      That include going over your mouth with the same fine tooth comb. Stop being so salty in the shade.
  • Hmmmm (04/10/2018, 13:20) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    A police is a police a prison officer is a prison officer. That's the way it should remain.. Next they will say security guards should be given the same Rights as police... Police spent 5 to 6 months training, studying, practicing, learning and tested before they can walk the streets.. That one of what makes a police different.
  • Jacperlance (04/10/2018, 13:33) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    All of them are a set of jokers, makes to sense they come and try to pull one another down they were once sitting around the same table making and agreeing to decisions which we now see have all of us on a downward part. Now they at each others throat trying to convince the electorate who is the best to lead. People get rid of them, the whole bleedy NDP, trust none of them, not this time around
    • @jackperlance (04/10/2018, 18:26) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      Not only are they now pulling each other down. Together they all pull the country down..
  • Jessica Jones (04/10/2018, 13:38) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
    Prison should be under the Ministry of Health and Social Development, seeing that this is a social problem. Education must be a department by itself.

    Just saying.
    • lord o. (04/10/2018, 18:16) Like (18) Dislike (3) Reply
      Myron was elected chairman by a committee that all of them endorse.. Myron didn't elected himself it was a processes they put in place the same process that selected Dr Smith.. Why the hate...
      • True (04/10/2018, 18:40) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
        Why haven’t the premier endorsed him. Start to train him. Is it want of power. It is time for the congress and the members have a serious meeting. Asked the three that is hindering the process if they are with the party or not. If they are not get rid up then because they are an embarrassment to our country. They act like children do not know when or where to asked questions.
        Boys reality check. Time is up. We need people to inspire us
      • Truth Sayer (04/10/2018, 19:57) Like (1) Dislike (8) Reply
        @ lord o- Please if you do not have all the facts, then do not speak. There is a lot that went down with the NDP internal elections and it will all come out in due time. What due process? When persons can stoop to paying delegates to vote a particular way; carry tales to delegates about other candidates; tamper with delegates list, that cannot be a fair process. There have been lots of confession since the "due process". Dr. Smith's election as Chairman of the NDP was of a high caliber and he did not have to go out and slander anyone in order to secure that position!
    • @Jessica Jones. (04/10/2018, 18:21) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      Excellent point.. Makes a ton of sense..Ask The Premier. People were begging him to switch up ministries and he never budged.. That was the right thing to do..
  • guy hill (04/10/2018, 14:34) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    What if the prisoner refuses?
  • m m (04/10/2018, 18:51) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Hope there is room for the 2 ministers
  • tola (05/10/2018, 07:55) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    All this money on the jail what about our schools? High School still ant get touch.
  • Disinterested (05/10/2018, 13:46) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    The NDP government is a lame duck, dysfunctional........etc and election is only at most single digit months away. As such, the NDP, though the elected government, should only perform the basic governmental and emergency functions. Major policies should be left up to a new government. Stop the actions to pad resume. Time is up.

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