The ruling New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has established an additional prison on the island.
THE NEW TODAY has obtained the copy of an official document which identifies the new prison as being located within the heart of the tourism belt on the world famous Grand Anse beach.
This development with the new prison has started to raise eyebrows given the importance of tourism and in particular the re-opening of hotels to the revival of the island’s economy that has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic over the past 18 months.
According to the document, this new prison facility which was gazetted on September 24, 2021, is the property on the beach that belongs to the American-owned St. George’s University (SGU).
That building is known to be presently used by government as an Isolation Centre for state employees especially police officers in the fight against the deadly Covid-19 virus that has been sweeping through the island in the past month leaving behind a massive death toll of over 160 persons.
The Gazetted document made no mention of government using the new prison for Covid-19 purposes.
It said: “The Cells in Building 3 of the Grand Anse campus of the Saint George’s University situate in Grand Anse in the parish of Saint George…. are hereby declared to be prison and lock-ups from the 24th day of September 2021, and shall be known as the Grand Anse Prison and lock-up.”
The established prison on the island is located at Richmond Hill in St. George.
The Grand Anse beach is home to most of the top flight hotels on the island such as Spice Island Beach Resort, Coyoba, and Silversands.
THE NEW TODAY has seen a document from the Prison Visiting Committee (PVC) giving an insight about the plans to handle Covid-19 cases at the facility.
A senior prison officer said that persons who tested positive for the virus would not be sent to the Prison but instead sent to quarantine outside of the Prison under Supervision.
He also said that if an inmate tested positive then the matter has to be reported immediately to the Ministry of Health whose responsibility is to get the person out of the prison.
“All the other persons who were in proximity to the positive tested person would have to be quarantined and tested,” he was quoted in the document as saying.