Prime Minister Tillman Thomas is being advised “to cast his eyes on the prisons” in his capacity as Minister of National Security as gang violence takes a toll on the institution.
The call has come from an influential member of the society in light of what has been described as a brutal chopping incident of an inmate last week Thursday by a group of other inmates who are believed to be associated with a gang operating inside the prison.
The NEW TODAY was told that an emergency meeting was held by the Ministry of National Security last week to discuss the alleged gang activities taking place within the confines of the prison.
Among the issues, which reportedly surfaced, was an allegation that during the fracas at the prison, a senior prison officer had kicked another officer as the situation got out of control.
An informed source told this newspaper that the officer denied kicking his colleague but slapped him in the face.
He said that while prison authorities would want the general public to believe that the constant violence at Her Majesty’s Prisons is due to overcrowding, it is largely based on illegal drugs and organised gangs.
However, the source who spoke on condition of not being identified said overcrowding is there while the prison population would always be more than what the prison was originally built to accommodate.
At the close of the October Assizes last month, Superintendent of Prisons, Derick John reported that as of December 18, 2012 the prison population stood at 492.
The source believes that the situation at the prison appears to be getting out of hand, and that the troublemakers need to be locked down.
Fingers are being pointed at a murder convict Anderson Thomas who is described as being a very dangerous and ruthless person as the leader of the gang that has taken over the drug business inside the prison.
According to well-placed sources, the incident that involved Thomas about one week ago resulted due to resistance put up by an inmate who once controlled the drug ring, and refused to join with a 15-member gang within the institution engaged in the illegal activity.
The source claimed that the inmate was given 24 hours in which to make up his mind, and due to his failure to co-operate with the Thomas-led gang he was physically attacked.
This newspaper learnt that two members of the gang held the young man’s hands behind his back while the gang leader used an object to chop him on the face and other parts of the body.
It is alleged that Thomas would usually attack other inmates who do not want to be part of his operations.
Investigations carried out by this newspaper reveal that in 2010, Thomas who works in the Carpenter shop inflicted a wound on a prison officer in the head.
Thomas is serving a prison sentence for the June 30, 2007 murder of Rennie St. John of Grand Anse, St. George’s.