Published On: Sat, Jun 1st, 2024

A firm beating

By Hilbert Haar

There are two reasons for putting an inmate at the Pointe Blanche prison in an isolation cell: because of serious misbehavior or for his (or her) own protection. Currently we do not know which one of these motives applies because the investigation into the beating that landed an inmate in hospital is ongoing.

Read related story here: Inmate in isolation cell beaten and hospitalized

There is no doubt, as Justice Minister Lewis suspects, that corruption plays a role in this unsavory incident. It does not take much to bribe a prison guard and it is probably even cheaper to buy the services of inmates because they are behind bars anyway.

Still, prison guard whose duty it was to guard the isolation cell must have been asleep when the attackers entered the cell. Or they deliberately looked the other way, either because they were part of the conspiracy or because they were too afraid of the consequences if they did not cooperate.

I assume that the door that gives access to the isolation cell is locked and that you need a key to open it. How did the attackers get their hands on that key? Did somebody give it to them? It should not be too difficult to find out.

Another issue is of course the identity of the injured inmate. What did he (or she) do to deserve such a beating? Who gave the order? Did it come from outside the prison with the promise of an attractive reward, or was it an initiative from within the prison?

Yet another mystery is this one. The attackers were masked. Where the hell do you get a mask if you are behind bars?

All this seems to suggest that there were more people involved in the attack than the two men who did the actual beating.

The thing is: we know what happened, but we do not know why it happened. Is this a case of inmates having a beef with each other? Is it a case of scaring the living daylights out of an inmate who may, or may not, have damaging information about others?

That’s enough speculation for today. We’ll have to wait for the outcome of the investigation Minister Lewis announced. I do not expect spectacular results from it because quite some inmates seem to suffer from serious cases of memory loss when they are confronted with questions whose answers could make them the next target for a serious beating.

Will Minister Lewis manage to put a stop to corruption in the prison system? For sure, this is a commendable initiative but I wonder very much if these aren’t just the appropriate words for the occasion.

Only the results will tell the true story.


Image caption: The above cartoon depicts the Pointe Blanche Prison inmates wearing their khaki uniforms. This cartoon is also published in our new book Cusha Cartoons. Pre-order your copy by buying a Cusha Columns subscription here online at https://stmaartennews.com/subscriptions.

Related article: Inmate in isolation cell beaten and hospitalized