(Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News)
Her Majesty’s Prison at Balsam Ghut is now an official subject under the Ministry of Health and Social Development, government announced on Friday, May 10.
To mark the move, officials recently paid a visit to the facility, including Governor Augustus Jaspert; Superintendent of Prisons, Verne Garde; Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Carvin Malone; and Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Ms. Petrona Davies.
Previously, the responsibility for the prisons was jointly held by the Governor and sitting Minister of Education and Culture. Now, it will be the Governor and the Health Minister.
In March, Minister Malone indicated that an assessment of the prisons, their condition and what is needed for their development will need to be conducted soon.
“We still have to do an assessment and we have to do it jointly with the Governor as we share that portfolio,” he told BVI Platinum News.
The Health Minister said this will be followed by a plan of action.
The last publicly documented visit to Her Majesty’s Prisons by the Governor was on October 29 last year, when he had a look at the progress of repairs at the prison, which was badly damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.
The Prison Act of 2018, which was passed late last year, has placed heavy emphasis on the rehabilitation of inmates and the heightened emphasis on training of officers.