Contraband seized at Richmond Farm Correctional Centre following Sunday's fracas

Matthew Samuda
A wide scale search of the Richmond Farm Adult Correctional Centre in St. Mary, following Sunday's disturbance, has resulted in the seizure of a significant number of contraband.
Three correctional officers and an inmate were injured in the fracas which occurred after a phone was found during a search of the dormitories.
In an interview with Radio Jamaica News, Matthew Samuda, Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, said 11 smartphones, three ice picks and two makeshift knives were seized.
Mr. Samuda said separate investigations are being carried out by the Ministry of National Security, the Department of Corrections, the police and Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM). 
He said based on the seizures, there will have to be an overhaul of the system and management of the facility, considering its small size with just 158 inmates. 
Mr. Samuda said Sunday's disturbance at the Richmond Farm is an indication that the release of low risk prisoners or detainees in response to the coronavirus crisis, is not a simple matter.
Recently, human rights advocates lobbied for the government to release certain categories of inmates because of the crowded prison system and the implications if there is an outbreak of COVID-19 at detention facilities.
The National Security Ministry indicated that the matter was not up for discussion.
Mr. Samuda said if consideration had been given to the request, some of the inmates would have come from the Richmond Farm facility.

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