Prison Officers Corrupt to the Core: No Defence but Apology
It is very unfortunate that our prison and prison officials over the years were corrupt to the core as evidences coming out of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation (TRRC) attested to. The evidences coming from the witness on Monday did clearly say how she has being giving monies and other items to prison officials including the then former Prison boss David Colley who was the Director General of the Gambia Prison services.
Not only the Director General was receiving gifts from the relatives of prisoners in exchange of giving special treatment to privileged prisoners, what a dis grace to such officials and the institution.
The witness is among those who have claimed to give gifts to prison officials in exchange of special treatments. It has become a known fact that prison officials are in the habit of such acts for a very long time. It is even said that a kind of salary was paid to some of them; which monies are far more than salaries of junior staff.
The maltreatment of prisoners on the pretext of going in accordance with the Prison Act was another disgraceful act by men and women of our prison services, who are paid to transform the convicted prisoners. Our prison was used as a punishment centre or better still as put in by a convict that it’s a concentration centre rather than a prison.
A very senior official of the Gambia Prison Services was on one of the radio trying to defend the prison services to the point that I quote “every prison official knowns the Prison Act as it is part of the curriculum, except for those who were hand pick by former President and mother” This defence, Gambians cannot accept, the leadership was only corrupt to the core as per the witness; and that the Act is never used as part of the curriculum. This was backed by a very senior prison officer who was a trainer himself and confess that he did not know prison Act.
Our prison officials just need to apologise for the bribes being received and the maltreatment meted out to prisoners in the past and vow that such will not repeat itself again. Only them they can be forgiven.