Violence at women’s prison

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Two correctional officers had to seek medical attention Monday evening as a weeklong protest by juveniles at the Fort Augusta women’s prison in St Catherine escalated.

It is reported that a female officer was stabbed on her hand by one of the irate juveniles. Earlier, another officer was reportedly doused with faeces and urine by other juveniles. She was treated at the Spanish Town Hospital.

Up to press time last night, neither the acting commissioner of corrections, June Jarrett, nor the deputy commissioner of custody, Shirley Johnson, could be reached for comment.

However, the chairman of the Jamaica Federation of Correctional Officers, Maurice Jones, said the situation had become very serious.

“The juveniles are throwing faeces and urine on the officers,” he said, adding that the senior superintendent of the Fort Augusta prison was among several correctional officers doused over the past week.

According to Jones, the chaos started after a group of female juveniles was transferred from the Armadale Juvenile Correctional Facility to Fort Augusta because of security reasons.

Last night, as Jones related his concerns to the The Gleaner/Power 106 News, there was constant uproar from the prison. He said the juveniles were refusing to go into their dorms. According to Jones, some of the juveniles had even stripped off their clothes to make it difficult for the officers to restrain them.

Jones said the young inmates who had formed a clique were demanding to speak with Jarrett.

However, Jones said, to make matters worse, adult inmates, incensed by the behaviour of the juveniles, had also started to protest.

Jones said the adult inmates were demanding that the juveniles be removed from Fort Augusta.