St. Maarten Prison Director shows contraband confiscated in prison

POSTED: 11/29/12 2:39 PM

St. Maarten – Justice Minister Roland Duncan and prison Director Edward Rohan presented the catch of illegal items found in prison cells at yesterday’s press briefing. In one and a half netted steroids, marijuana, phones, a brass knuckle, improvised daggers and even a rubber vagina.

“Inside the prison we are also busy combating crime and violence,” Rohan said. The prison director said that he is doing regular cell-inspections but that due to staff shortages these inspections are still not done often enough.

Duncan and Rohan also elaborated on the fishing technique inmates use to hoist contraband into the prison, especially in Simpson Bay. They use a piece of fishing line and a sock filled with a piece of soap for weight for this exercise. In Simpson Bay inmates made a hole in a wall to allow them to bring in bigger items.

The find of a rubber vagina triggered some laughs about what is, in fact a very serious matter. “Human beings are human beings,” Minister Duncan said. “I proposed conjugal visits for inmates. There was a lot of criticism on that, but human needs don’t change when you are in prison. If we don’t provide anything, it could go worse and result in sexual assaults and rape.”

The minister said that he is also frustrated about the complaints that Simpson Bay is not adequate as a House of Detention. “You’d think they’d be happy in a House of Detention where security is less than in the prison. They’re treated with more humanity there. But if you see what they do, up to the point of breaking out windows, I wonder what kind of people we’re dealing with.”

The minister said that he wants to intensify the programs for inmates in consultation with the Education Ministry.

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