GREAT BAY—Minister of Justice Cornelius De Weever described the taking of the oath by some 22 prison officers as “a milestone” with a sense of accomplishment. He pointed out that the ceremonies that took place at the Government Administration Building on Friday morning as a part of the civil service obligation.
The Justice Minister remarked that the Pointe Blanche Prison is “sometimes seen as the forgotten place” except for the time of an election or when something bad happens. “Many times people forget those who work there and the inmates that live in the Pointe Blanche prison that also make up part of our society.
He also indicated that the work in the Pointe Blanche Prison can also affect one’s health. He also touched on the demotivation of the prison officers who had suffered because they did not receive the normal increment and increases on their salaries while having to work under the situation of constant threats.
“I am sure that you have noticed in your salary that there is a little more to take home, which you deserve,“ said De Weever.
The Justice Minister who was scheduled to travel to Suriname for the annual Justice Week of activities said that he had to cancel that engagement to attend to the swearing in of the prison officers which is an effort to get the prison in a better shape. He admonished the prison officers about the importance of carrying out their task in a compassionate and firm manner.
“You must be vigilant in your tasks and be aware that the work that you do every day is one that only a few can do.” He noted that although some of the prison officers are close to their age of retirement and some are now beginning their careers he thanked them on behalf of the people, the inmates and their families for their service that they have been providing.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Justice has set up a committee to select a new Director of the Prison since the former prison director was dismissed several months ago.
Photo caption: Justice Minister Cornelius De Weever greets Prison Officer Astrid York after the oath of office at the Government Administration Building in Phillipsburg on Friday morning. York has reached the retirement age and therefore she is one of the oldest prison officers still in active service. Photos by Andrew Bishop.
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