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May 16, 2016

Several Resident Girls Escape from the Youth Hostel

In other news…the Princess Royal Youth Hostel is once again making headlines, following a daring breakout by eleven young ladies from the facility on Sunday evening.  The institution is still recovering from a deadly fire seven months ago which claimed the lives of three teenagers, but the results of an independent investigation are still pending. Now, sometime before six p.m. on Sunday, three of the girls escaped from the hostel by scaling the chain linked perimeter fence.  The other eight simply fled through the gate at the main entrance.  So how did this all happen in light of the security measures that have been put in place since the deadly inferno?  According to Maureen Williams, Deputy Director of the Community Rehabilitation Department, the other escapees simply exited the front gate because it was not locked and security personnel were at another section of the sprawling compound.

 

On the Phone: Maureen Williams, Deputy Dir., Community Rehabilitation Dept.

“Yesterday just shortly before six, about five-forty-five, we were informed that eleven girls absconded from the Youth Hostel. Upon our own investigation revealed that three of the girls went over the fence and eight girls went through the gate. For us, as we looked at what happened, it just really highlighted that despite all the things that we’ve done and put in place, that protocols were not followed and it resulted in these eleven girls leaving the compound.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“These protocols not being followed is a reflection of the staff that was on duty or how did this breach occur?”

 

On the Phone: Maureen Williams

“For instance, in terms of the gate, while it was closed, it was unlocked and that should have never been. We have a large compound and the security was otherwise involved with some other activity, but it should have been that if he was leaving the post then the gate should have been locked and that didn’t happen. So those type of things for us signals that we need to be looking more at our staff. We can put things in place and those kinds of things like the training…we have been doing multiple training with staff to look at their standard operating procedures; to look at what is called core correctional practices which is an evidence-based approach to deal with children in correctional facilities and we are trying to impart the skills and the knowledge for staff to be able to better handle a difficult population. We’ve improved on our fence, we have a security hut, we have handheld radios accessible to all the staff; so those kinds of things we put in place, but if the staff aren’t doing what they are supposed to do, then all of that…then we can’t be as affective we hope to be.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“In light of these measures put in place and the fact that we have eleven young ladies who have absconded from the facility, what happens in terms of measures being taken against the staff or what happens next?”

 

On the Phone: Maureen Williams

“While eleven of them absconded, we’ve recovered four and we also have some viable leads in terms of where the others may be heading and the police officers are working very closely with us to be able to hopefully get those children back very quickly. But in terms of the staff, we have to do what we have to do. Our investigation is saying that protocols were breached and so we have to respond to that. Some of the staff are permanently established staff and so in that regard, the process will take a little bit longer because the process for that will have to go through the Public Service, the Public Services Commission; those kinds of things. But certainly, we have to, we can’t run from the fact that this happened, protocols were breached and we have to respond to that.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“It would seem as if though this is another black-eye for the Youth Hostel in light of the deadly fire a few months ago. How are you guys dealing with the entire situation and the perceived backlash?”

 

On the Phone: Maureen Williams

“We continue to do what it is that we have to do. We continue to look at the processes, we continue to look at where our strengths are, what we are doing well and we are looking at what we are not doing so well and what we need to do to fix it. And that is how it has to be.”

 

Up to news time tonight, eight of the eleven young ladies have been recovered.  Efforts are underway to locate the remaining three residents.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Several Resident Girls Escape from the Youth Hostel”

  1. Concern says:

    Very incompetent Director of the Youth Hostel….

  2. Firewalker says:

    Eleven girls ran away? Now why so many? Something else is going on. Stomping a little girls toe is not any kind of punishment no matter what she did. We did not forget that. They must be being abused and are afraid to tell, for so many to run away. People are watching

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