#GrandTurk, Turks and Caicos Islands – May 21, 2018 – Nineteen inmates have been given early release from Her Majesty’s Prison in Grand Turk following approval of the Mercy Committee; 18 men and the one woman are not only freed from prison but repatriated to their home countries.
While the early release on Friday May 18 of these offenders to their countries of origin, namely Jamaica and Haiti, brings the prison population to more controllable levels, to truly make a dent in overcrowding at HMP, there would reportedly need to be a reduction of roughly 50 inmates.
Relatives of those incarcerated at the facility were speaking to Magnetic Media on the condition of anonymity and expressed that the 19 released are all foreigners; one woman of Haiti, who was this year convicted of bribery; three Jamaican men locked up for illegal drugs and illegal entry and the other men were of Haiti for charges and convictions linked to illegal entry or aiding human smuggling.
None of the Turks and Caicos Islanders jailed for lighter offenses or with mere weeks or months remaining on their sentences were given release; a trend which those speaking to Magnetic Media are “sick and tired of..”
“They should consider releasing some of the local guys with short terms, not only let the foreigners benefit from the release program. They don’t have to look at the long term prisoners if they don’t want to but there are some people who have done their time down to a matter of months and they only let the Haitians and Jamaicans go home. They should do something for the locals too.”
Our news organization is also informed that names are submitted to the Mercy Committee. The Committee, which also has a member, the Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands does expeditious work of determining who should benefit from early release.
The prison population of Her Majesty’s was around 125 inmates up to the time of the 19 individuals being freed; there are said to be about seven women incarcerated and two juveniles.
It is said the new Prison Superintendent from the United Kingdom is now in country and has already had a cursory tour of the facility, which has suffered overcrowding for years. Conditions at HMP were exacerbated by 2017’s fire and hurricanes.