Monday 26 October, 2020

Bordelais to Take No More Foreign Prisoners - At Least for Now

The 24 prisoners from hurricane-ravaged islands of the Caribbean now ensconced at the Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF) will be all that St. Lucia will be accommodating – at least for now.

Loop News has been reliably informed of this latest stage in the gesture of goodwill St. Lucia has extended to its sister islands of the region hit by hurricanes this year.

Although government has yet to speak about the crimes committed by these foreign prisoners, Loop News was able to gather from reliable sources that some of them are serving life sentences.

Local authorities are not saying much about the arrangement between St. Lucia, BVI and TCI where the prisoners are concerned. Home Affairs and National Security Minister Hermangild Francis this week downplayed the idea of the prisoners being high-risk, telling one media house that he had not seen anything indicating that this was so. However, the Minister said that St. Lucia is willing to accommodate up to 40 prisoners.

The Minister is not alone in claiming that the BCF could accommodate up to 40 prisoners. Vern Garde, the Director of Corrections earlier stated that space is available should the government accept any more.

But information from sources close to the operation indicates that the BCF is not expecting any more prisoners, meaning no more prisoners will be added to the 24 already present.

Garde, when questioned about his officers’ ability to handle the foreign prisoners, said that “they are well capable of doing so,” and that the facility can be flexible in accommodating a larger amount.

He said it was not the first time the BCF had accommodated high-risk prisoners, noting that in 2004 40 prisoners from Grenada were housed at the facility successfully.

But how long will the prisoners from the BVI and the TCI remain at the BCF? The period of time is recorded as “indefinite”, according to a source.

The first batch of prisoners came into St. Lucia from the BVI on a military aircraft which landed at 9:30 a.m. Monday. They were seven in number. On Tuesday, approximately the same time, another batch of seven landed in St. Lucia disembarking from a military aircraft. That same Tuesday at about 12:35 p.m., three prisoners from the TCI landed. They were onboard a private charter. The last batch of prisoners landed in St. Lucia at approximately 9:30 Wednesday morning. They were from the BVI.

Garde believes St. Lucia is doing a good deed by housing the prisoners, saying that countries in the region could be in worse shape if they had to deal with dangerous escaped prisoners from vulnerable hurricane-damaged facilities being unleashed.

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