Sunday 9 August, 2020

Special cells for prisoners ‘running gangs from behind bars’ - Chang

Dr Horace Chang (File photo)

Dr Horace Chang (File photo)

High-profile prisoners who continue to direct their criminal enterprises from behind bars should soon find their ability to do so significantly curtailed, according to National Security Minister, Dr Horace Chang.

Some of Jamaica’s most dangerous prisoners, including murderers and gang leaders, have been known to order hits from behind bars, and to continue running extortion rackets while serving lengthy prison sentences.

They have been able to issue orders to their cronies through, among other means, cellular phones that are smuggled into the correctional facilities, and efforts to block the calls using jammers have failed over time.

Chang, who was making his contribution to the 2020-2021 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, said within a week, 24 such prisoners are to be moved to newly constructed cells.

“We will have all the high-value criminals in a place where they can no longer give instructions,” Chang stated without providing details. However, the new prison cells are said to be equipped with technology that will block communication signals.

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