The Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre is one of the facilities that will get priority attention. (Photo: Jamaica Star)
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday June 9, 2017 – Fire officials and police in Jamaica are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed part of the maximum security prison in Kingston in which convicted murdered Vybz Kartel is kept.
Neither the dancehall artiste, whose real name is Adijah Palmer, nor any other inmate was injured in the blaze on Wednesday that destroyed the section of the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre that houses about 18 prisoners with mental health issues. However, a correctional officer suffered mild smoke inhalation.
WATCH: Fire personnel assessing the blaze at the Tower Street prison. No injuries reported – Norman Grindley video pic.twitter.com/6X9drGyO3Q
— Jamaica Gleaner (@JamaicaGleaner) June 7, 2017
Inmates in the affected area, the George Davis Centre, were relocated to another part of the prison.
Following the fire, Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security Pearnel Charles Jr acknowledged that several of the island’s correctional facilities were in need of urgent infrastructural development, including the fire-affected prison which has about 1,500 prisoners.
“We have identified specific institutions which will be upgraded, and the budget will be allocated to do so, and the Tower Street Correctional Facility is one of them to receive priority attention for infrastructural development,” he told the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper.
“The fire certainly brings up a lot of issues that we have to address. But in the meantime, the authorities here are making arrangements for the housing of the affected inmates.”
He said an inter-ministerial committee has been set up to look at alternative housing for inmates with mental health and other issues.
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