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First bricks laid for construction of Seychelles maximum security prison

Victoria, Seychelles | March 15, 2024, Friday @ 14:20 in National » GENERAL | By: Sedrick Nicette Edited By: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 3414
First bricks laid for construction of Seychelles maximum security prison

The Minister for Internal Affairs, Roy Fonsecka (right), and the Minister for Lands and Housing, Billy Rangasamy, laid down the first bricks. (Seychelles News Agency)

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The foundation stones for building a new maximum security prison at Bon Espoir in Seychelles for high-risk prisoners were laid in a ceremony on Friday.

Construction work is expected to begin in around three weeks.

The construction of the facility is being funded by the Seychelles' government at SCR8.7 million ($645,000) for the first phase. These will include an administration block, a clinic, and the first block of 40 cells, which are expected to be completed in December of this year.

The Minister for Internal Affairs, Roy Fonsecka, and the Minister for Lands and Housing, Billy Rangasamy, laid down the first bricks to officially launch the construction. 

In his address, the commissioner of the Seychelles Prison Services, Raymond St. Ange, said, "Today we break ground and bear witness to a second facility that is well designed and to high standards. This prison once commissioned and operational will change for the better how we manage inmates who are assessed so that they do not go to Montagne Posee [prison] but rather to Bon Espoir."

St. Ange said, "Our current and only facility for convicted adults, male and female in residence within separate facilities can no longer cater to the type of inmate we are receiving today.  Dynamics have changed and those changes in some respect are for the worse."

Hence the need for a maximum security prison "with strict surveillance, zero smoking privileges, zero drugs, zero chance to smuggle or use a mobile phone within the cell, inmates will face a different set of circumstances. The use of the latest technology, and tight and enhanced controls will only enhance how this prison will operate."

The facility will manage inmates with little movement, no contact with other inmates, controlled access to their own individual exercise yards, and no possibility of physical contact with other inmates.  

Meanwhile, the Seychelles Prison Services have also taken other steps to be better prepared for the changes in dynamics. These include a new purpose designed and under construction of a primary detention remand facility, the commissioning of a youth offenders facility at Amitie on Praslin, as well the signing of an agreement to construct a new facility for female convicts.

"The steps we have been methodically taking confirm that we are and will be a stronger partner for law and order and a reliable bulwark against the negatives that permeate within a lawless segment of our community. A minority as they may be," St. Ange added.    

He assured the public and the community that the prison services will "manage this facility with care and discipline, and we will resolutely guard the access and its surroundings to this facility, which will be under strict surveillance and robust responses. Those would be trespassers are forewarned."  

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Tags: maximum security prison, Seychelles Prison Services

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