Published On: Sat, Jun 1st, 2024

Inmate in isolation cell beaten and hospitalized

PHILIPSBURG — An inmate held in an isolation cell at the Pointe Blanche prison was so severely beaten by two assailants that he had to be hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC).

Justice Minister Lyndon Lewis was quoted during the Council of Minister’s press briefing on Wednesday, May 29, as saying that the assailants wore khaki uniforms, suggesting that the attack must have been the work of other inmates. The identity of the victim had not been revealed and the motive for the attack is unknown.

Minister Lewis reported the attack during his first appearance at a Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday. The minister wondered how the attackers had managed to get to the isolation cell, because they had to go through three doors to get there.

Lewis said that the attack was made possible due to corruption within the prison system. The minister further revealed that the attackers were masked and that they wore khaki uniforms – the outfit for inmates at the facility.

Entering the isolation cell is subject to a strict protocol, Lewis pointed out. Prison guards are responsible for guarding the cell as well as other parts of the prison.

Interestingly, Minister Lewis was informed about the attack by somebody from outside the prison and not by the prison director. Lewis went to the medical center and spoke with the injured inmate. The prisoner basically revealed to him that assailants wore khaki pants.

“How could it have been that the prisoner was severely beaten by two unknown assailants in prison uniform?” the minister asked during the press briefing where he announced that the investigation into the matter is ongoing. I have known about the different types of corruption that we may have, and I would like to root it out of our system.”


Photo caption: Press photo on file showing the interior of the Pointe Blanche Prison.

Related article: Opinion piece: “A firm beating