(CMR) The Cayman Islands Independent Monitoring Board (CIIMB) for Prisons and Places of Detention has expressed concerns that prisoners with mental health issues are incarcerated in the general population with other prisoners.
In the CIIMB 2020 annual report published last week, the board said there were concerns that there is still no adequate vulnerable prisoner wing in either prison, and the prisoners with mental health issues, or those vulnerable due to type of crime committed, are still incarcerated within the general prison population.
The housing of vulnerable prisoners was one of several safety concerns that the report highlighted.
The availability of bleach to prisoners on every wing at Northward is a concern that the board wants adequately addressed. The board pointed out that this was raised in their 2019 report and that they were told that the bleach was diluted; however, this was still a concern.
According to the report, since the Board raised this concern in the 2019 annual report, there has been an incident where a prisoner threw bleach onto an officer's clothing and had had to be forcibly restrained.
The Board also raised concerns that there is no adequate fire exit from the HRU. Although there are 2 exit doors, the report stated that none of these doors lead directly to the outside. In order to reach the outside HRU, prisoners must exit HRU into the Delta wing downstairs and exit the building through the Delta wing fire exit.
Meantime, the Board said it was pleased to see some safety concerns addressed. In 2019 the Board was concerned about the lack of CCTV throughout the prison estate at Northward. However, this has since been rectified, and a new CCTV system has been installed.
In the 2019 report, the Board was also concerned about the infestation of roaches and rodents due to the dilapidated and overcrowded state of the accommodations at Northward. This situation was addressed in a more systematic manner, and as a result of this, fewer complaints have been received on this issue, the report stated.