~ Tension among inmates and prison guards ~
POINTE BLANCHE – Today, Friday, March 24, Police and Detectives arrived at Pointe Blanche prison because a fight had broken out between two guards and some inmates.
It is unclear to 721news what started the argument that led to the fight between the inmates and guards, who were working in that wing at the time.
This is another clear sign that the Pointe Blanche prison is short staffed, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for the four guards on duty, who control the housing area as well as keep a watchful eye on the inmates.
This also clearly shows that guards’ safety is at risk, and they also can’t guarantee the safety of the other inmates as well.
At this point in time the prison is over populated, and the number of guards is insufficient. A solution to get reinforcements has to come very soon. The prison needs more attention from the Minister of Justice before another violent incident happens.
721news tried to get in contact with Police Union ABVO, but we were unsuccessful in getting a statement. However, a close source in the St. Maarten ABVO Union told our newsroom:
“With regard to the physical assault on two prison guards today, ABVO St. Maarten is of the opinion that the St. Maarten Government should work even more closely with the Trade Unions, and their members to prevent these unfortunate incidents from repeating. We shouldn’t wait until another humble public servant is slain in the process of fulfilling their daily duties. We’ve already lost an officer and a prisoner. Let’s put a definite end to these needless sacrifices.”
721news is still waiting on an official statement from the President of the Union.
721news also attempted to speak to WICSU-PSU President Julia Solagnier, who was unaware of the incident and did not respond to our inquiry. The police spokesman was not available for no comments.