British Virgin Islands

Sunday, Oct 25, 2020

Shift in inmates behaviours seen with non-punitive disciplinary action -HMP boss

Shift in inmates behaviours seen with non-punitive disciplinary action -HMP boss

Superintendent of Prison Verne Garde said enforcing non-punitive measures towards rebellious inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) is paying off.

Garde’s remarks were made in response to queries by BVI News on how management at the facility dealt with bullying at the Balsam Ghut-based adult penitentiary.

“Bullying is an issue in schools, at the churches, in the workplace, and it is certainly an issue at the prison,” he said.

Garde further said HMP now has an Intelligence, Investigation and CCTV Unit to monitor various inmates with refractory behaviour and bullying tendencies.

He said if an inmate is caught bullying, they are “brought in and they receive some counselling, guidance and instruction in regards to their temperament. So we do pay attention to issues such as the propensity for bullying.”

We do things differently

The prison boss further stressed that inmates are treated humanely at the rehabilitative facility.

“There are punishments here at the facility, but the punishments are designed differently. They are individuals that come from households that essentially they are abused and applying normal punitive measures on these individuals may have absolutely no effect because they know it already. So what do we do? We use non-traditional measures to manage these individuals,” Garde explained.

“For example, loss of association. It is very painful when individuals are taken away from some of their friends. We do apply softer punitive measures on individuals to make behaviour modification. [However], we have to use innovative measures with the same amount of discomfort but more humane,” he added.

Our methods are working

Garde pointed out that since he took over the reins and implemented a different methodology towards running of the prison, they “have seen a paradigm shift in regards to inmates’ behaviour”.

“We have not used the traditional punitive measures, and it seems to be working,” he said.

Roughly 129 individuals are currently housed at the prison.


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