Prime Minister Harris: The number of female prison officers has increased since 2017

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Prime Minister Harris: The number of female prison officers has increased since 2017

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, March 4, 2019 (PLP PR Media Inc.) — A dedicated 93 employees in Her Majesty’s Prison system have been doing the country proud and while congratulating them, Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr the Hon Timothy Harris pointed out that since 2017 there has been an increase in the number of female prison officers.

“We salute all of the awardees for their contribution to the peace and security of our land and for their work in assisting offenders of the law on the journey to rehabilitation,” said Prime Minister Harris on Sunday March 3 while delivering remarks at a special service of Appreciation and Thanksgiving for officers of her Majesty’s Prison, which was held at the Calvary Baptist Tabernacle in Romney Ground, Sandy Point.

Dr Harris added: “I take this opportunity to congratulate and commend them all on behalf of the Government and the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and also to applaud the dedication of the 93 employees in Her Majesty’s Prison system.”

Of the total 93 employees 26 are female prison officers and 54 are male prison officers, the rest being general employees. Based on the number of prison officers since the 2017 Employee Awards and Appreciation ceremony (held on Sunday April 30, 2017 at the Immanuel Methodist Church in Sandy Point) there has been an increase in the number of female officers while the male figure has remained constant.

“I want to use this occasion then, to salute the women who have chosen this line of work for their career development,” said Dr Harris. “The Prison, like most of the security forces has been a male dominated workplace, but it is also an environment where the people being served there – that is the inmates – are also mostly male.”

The Minster of National Security observed that there are 185 male inmates in St. Kitts at Her Majesty’s Prison which is commonly known as 1840 in reference to the year it was built, and 25 male inmates at the Prison Farm in Nevis. There are six female inmates, all of whom are at Her Majesty’s Prison in St. Kitts. 

Six serving prison officers and two retired prison officers were awarded during the special service. Of the serving officers, three were females: Mrs Lois Smith who is one of the two female Principal Officers; Ms Tracey O’Loughlin, a Senior Officer; and Ms Iantha Freeman who is a Basic Grade Officer. Of the two retired prison officers, one was Mrs Rosalind Bassue, who when she retired in 2001 was the only female Senior Officer.

Accompanying Prime Minister Harris to the appreciation and thanksgiving service were Cabinet colleagues, the Hon Eugene Hamilton, the Hon Lindsay Grant, and the Hon Vincent Byron. Others included Permanent Secretaries, Mr Osmond Petty of National Security, and Vincent William Hodge of Education; National Security Adviser Major General (Retired) Stewart Saunders; First Prime Minister and only living National Hero the Rt Hon and Rt Excellent Sir Kennedy Simmonds, and Lady Simmonds; and former Senator Mr Ralph Gumbs.

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