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Prison’s double trouble

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

It takes a brave man or woman to work as a prison officer. Irrespective of threats to their lives, the job itself is a demanding one, and one of little joy. At the end of the day, your main objective is to make sure some undesirable people are locked away from society. Your direct customers are also hardly the kind of people you would like to spend time with.

The growing threats to prison officers and the murder of Davendra Boodooram on Friday highlight the safety challenges faced by the profession, as recognised by their boss, Prisons Commissioner Gerard Wilson.

The problem for Mr Wilson is that, whilst there will be genuine cases of officers being attacked and killed for refusing to be corrupted by individual criminals or gangs, others will be targeted for siding with one gang or another, or for being deeply involved with the criminals in the first place.

Mr Wilson will need to work on an urgent plan to protect all those prison officers who deserve to do their jobs without threats to themselves and their families. But he will also need to be equally driven in rooting out corruption within the service or all his efforts will be undone by the criminal gangs’ ability to effectively run their businesses from within their cells.

Let there be light

This newspaper reported yesterday on the Manzanilla residents who have been asking for access to electricity for the past 60 years, with no luck. It’s truly shocking to think that in modern Trinidad and Tobago some children still need kerosene lamps to do their school work and the most basic electric appliances are an impossible dream.

Surely it’d be reasonable to expect that every citizen in 21st century T&T should have access to power, drinkable water and sewerage. For a country that still boasts of having the third largest GDP per capita in the Americas—only behind the US and Canada—it is simply scandalous to see how many citizens are forgotten and left without even their most basic needs.

Sweet chutney

Despite the initial funding wobbles, it was good to see the Chutney Soca Monarch taking place last weekend. After all, Chutney Soca is uniquely Trini, bringing together the musical styles of our largest ethnic groups.

Congratulations then to Nishard ‘Nishard M’ Mayrhoo and Neval Chatelal for their winning Masala entry.


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