Commissioner of Prisons Dennis Pulchan.

Contrary to information circulating on social media, Prisons Commissioner Dennis Pulchan said inmates at the Wayne Jackson Building (or what was formerly Building 13) at the Maximum Security Prison are afforded their basic rights within prison walls.

Guardian Media received information that this morning’s protest, in which mattresses were set on fire in three cells, was due to inmates there not being allowed airing, access to a bath and medication.

“That is not true; that is an allegation. Let me tell you something, that place has one big yard, we are airing people, we are feeding people, the infirmary officer goes to them and gives them medication. These inmates are just agitated because they have been moved from various sections where they had a level of freedom into a confined area where they can be contained and managed appropriately,” the Commissioner clarified.

Commissioner Pulchan said he does not understand how much privacy they want, adding that “this is not a HYATT hotel but rather a prison”.

The Prisons Commissioner also denied that well known prisoners such as Rajaee Ali and Phillip Boodram were involved. He said the culprits are “agitated young men” who were recently moved from the Port of Spain prison facility to Arouca.

He said in fact, Ali and Boodram are some of his best-behaved inmates.

The Commissioner denied that any force was used to subdue the inmates and said dialogue with them is ongoing.