May 6, 2020, 12:42 PM
It’s been reported in the news that hundreds of volunteers recently turned up for a mass voluntary covid-19 rapid testing in Bakau.
The incident happened on New Year’s Day at the said prison facility between the hours of 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Interestingly, what we cannot comprehend to this hour is that it has now become an annual affair for prisoners at Jeshwang Prison facility to find an escape route.
Is it that there is an agreement between these inmates and prison officers?
Last year, 21 inmates at the prison escaped from the remand wing in what was believed to be a mega prison get away. Similar incident was reported in 2018.
Sources revealed the incident happened around 7: 30 p.m. when dinner was being served and somehow the inmates managed to find their way out.
Among the escapees were those charged with offences such as possession of prohibited drugs, trafficking, house breaking with stealing and robbery.
Eyewitness further corroborated that neither the pad locks and metal door or wall of the block were damaged during the incident. This clearly shows the negligence of some of our prison officers especially those on duty at the time.
Owing to the fact that there are standard procedures that ought to be observed, if these officers on duty acted in a professional way, the incident could have been averted.
The constant prison break is unacceptable and government should do something about it. No doubt, the recent incident at Jeshwang clearly shows the lazy, negligent and carefree attitude of some of our officers in uniform.
Those on duty on the said date should be taken to task to explain what went wrong that led to the escape of these inmates.
We all know that security in prisons may include a wide range of issues, but the most important thing is about the security of inmates. Prison security is also crucial to maintaining staff and inmate safety in any correctional setting.
Taking into account some of these inmates were charged with violent acts such as robbery and possession of prohibited drugs among others, they now pose serious threats to the larger society.
Government of The Gambia through its line Ministries should make prison security a key priority.
'' My character in 'Prison Break' needs to be formidable. In reality, I'm not very tough at all.''