The men and women employed within the Barbados Prison Service have been assured by Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs Adriel Brathwaite that their jobs are safe.
He gave the assurance during a church service yesterday at Messiah Wesleyan Holiness Church, Messiah Street, St John to mark the start of Prison Service Week 2015. Brathwaite also told the congregation that the issue of appointments of prison officers would also be addressed soon.
“You have my word that we are working assiduously to see how we can get those addressed but take confidence in the fact that if there is one area that the Government has promised that there would be no cuts whatsoever, it’s in the disciplinary services,” Brathwaite said.
“So you have the confidence knowing that there is no chance of any of you being retrenched or not being employed or not receiving your appointments because yours is an area that Barbados cannot do without.”
Brathwaite lauded the work of prison officers saying that their jobs have become more and more difficult over the years because of the increasing demands placed on them.
“Theirs is a duty that many of us will never have the capacity to do. It is hard because there was a time when we thought of prison as someplace where the prison officer was required to unlock doors and lock doors but those days are long past. In fact, an officer now has to be a brother, an aunt, an uncle, a father, a confidante, a teacher, a disciplinarian and he [or] she needs to bring all types of different skills to bear to look after the wellbeing of the men and the women who come into their care.
“It is not an easy job and I recognize that, but I think we all appreciate the fact that without you, Barbados as we all know it, would be much worse off. And so I would like to single out, as Minister, my recognition of your hard work, your contribution and . . .ensure that your lives and, in particular, your working lives
would be made easy as possible,” Brathwaite added.