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Dec 11, 1998

Mass search and seizure at Hattieville Prison

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It took six hours for one hundred and thirty members of the police, Dragon Unit and B.D.F. to complete a sting operation at the Hattieville Prison that took place shortly after five this morning. News Five was in Hattieville today to find out more about what Superintendent of Prisons Bernard Adolphus is calling a “Shake-up.”

The search, which took both inmates and prison staff by surprise, was conducted to clean the institution of items and weapons that may have been smuggled in over a period of time. According to Bernard Adolphus, Superintendent of Prisons, they do conduct similar searches of their own, but because there is a shortage of human resources, it has been difficult to do proper searches. Therefore, from time to time, they have had to rely on the security forces.

Bernard Adolphus, Superintendent of Prisons

“So periodically the police and the security force would give us a helping hand and preferably I like when they come in unannounced, just come in and hit the jail. Sting operation so we catch everybody unaware and you cannot tell everybody when an operation like this will take place because we want it to be effective. We want everything to be surprised. So when you hit and curtain off all the areas we can be successful.”

The inmates were ordered to lie on the ground while the police and B.D.F. searched them and their cells. There was some success as a number of items ranging from blades to tin covers were discovered. Adolphus then showed us a display of weapons including homemade knives they have collected on searches done in the past.

Bernard Adolphus

“This a beautiful craft work that was done by hand. It’s like a cobra, when you dismantle, open the tail of the cobra, there is a nail there. And this can be used as a deadly weapon to kill a man and it’s simple. If you look at it, it’s piece of a chain link or nail. It’s a nail here, a four-inch, six-inch and they put a piece, a quarter of it in and a remaining three quarter is out and this is a deadly weapon. You would look at it and say it is a toy or a craft work that somebody is preparing and here it is.”

We were also shown how a can of milk is used to either make a fast buck or to smuggle in drugs.

Bernard Adolphus

“This unique tin of can of milk was sold for a dollar and nearly caused a fight. It’s an empty can. You look at it, when closely inspecting, you realize it’s an empty can, right. And the guy, the other prisoner said to the other one, the milk is on the table, give me the dollar. And he went through so an old jail trick catch him and he grumbled and bite up cause he bought an empty tin cheap, cheap for a dollar.”

But it was not only the inmates who were searched, prison wardens and officers received a rub down as well. A procedure Adolphus says they do conduct on their staff at times.

Bernard Adolphus

“Under the law, under the law that is, when we do our own searches we also search our own staff. When we do our own operations, we also search our own staff. When we do a surprise thing, sometimes we do it late in the night ourselves. And when we do that, we search everybody. Sometimes the chief officer would report on the night duty before the rest and as soon as the officers de-bus he would call them one side along with his crew and do a surprise rub down.”

Overall the operation appears to have gone well, however, some inmates showed us marks and cuts they say they received at the hands of the police. When we asked Adolphus why some prisoners were beaten or stepped on, he said at this time he cannot speculate as to what may have happened, but that he received complaints from seventeen inmates who claim that they were beaten and the matter has been reported to the police and the B.D.F. command.

Bernard Adolphus

“Well I receive complaints, obviously prisoners were complaining about force being used on them and I think the officer in charge of the search party was given a list of those people who complain about brutality being used against them.”

As a result of the exercise, four inmates were also arrested after a small quantity of drugs was found in their cell.

Adolphus tells News Five the prison searches will be carried out on a regular, surprise basis.


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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