The acting Superintendent of Prisons has said his vision for the penal institution at Dodds, St Philip will focus on the professional development of prison officers for the better functioning of the facility.
DeCarlo Payne, who has taken over from John Nurse after he was reportedly sent on leave in the midst of a departmental enquiry into the running of the prison, said Wednesday, he will also capitalise on the skills of his officers in the delivery of their service to Barbados.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, Payne, who was Nurse’s deputy, also outlined a number of areas he wants to see improved.
“The main improvements for me would be the employee engagement, more effective communication and the improvement to the overall delivery of our services here,” Payne, who possesses a Master’s Degree in Business Administration specialising in human resource management disclosed.
The senior career prison officer said those improvements and his personal vision, would go hand-in-hand with the institution’s vision and mission statement.
“I am a trained and qualified HR practitioner so my vision would more than likely be one that would reflect human development and the utilisation of human capital that we have here, to maximise on the delivery of service,” he stressed.
Payne has taken over operations at the prison less than a week after Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams announced the appointment a departmental enquiry to investigate concerns raised about the recruitment and promotion process of staff, the treatment of staff, staff accommodation, the medical care of inmates and their protection while in transit to court or clinics.
The probe, chaired by attorney-at-law, Philip Pilgrim, Q.C., is expected to span a three-month period.
The prison chief also assumes the leadership of the St Philip jail which opened in 2007, at a time when the facility is battling another spike in COVID-19 cases.
Minister Abrahams said yesterday authorities were monitoring the situation caused by “some positive” test results and were applying the required measures to contain and manage the spread.
In January last year, the prison was hit by a major COVID-19 outbreak in what was declared a “crisis” situation.
At its peak, the cluster there totaled 363 infected persons and including 85 prison officers, 261 prison inmates and 17 non-protective service staff members.