National Security Minister, Stuart Young, speaking as the Standing Finance Committee considered the national security expenditure of the 2018/2019 national budget in Parliament on Thursday, said that this country has 1,301 vacant posts in the prison service including Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Prisons.
Young said an increase of $28 million in COLA and salaries was to assist in filling vacant posts which falls under the Service Commission. He reported the total establishment is 4,211 and there were only 2,910 posts currently filled.
“We are all aware of the difficulties that the prison service is currently undergoing so we are going on a recruitment drive this year in the hope that we would be able to attract officers to the prison service.”
He said there were varying difficulties throughout national security regarding recruitment and not only in the prison service. He reported for this fiscal year the ministry was hoping to recruit 500 prison officers; 290 were recruited in the previous fiscal year.
The outstanding positions were: Commissioner of Prisons, Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner of Prisons, five for superintendent, two cadet officers, four assistant superintendents, 14 prison supervisors, 12 prison welfare officers ones, 161 prison officers twos, 179 prison officer ones and 21 prison service drivers.
On October 2nd, Supt of Prisons Wayne Jackson was shot outside his Malabar home and two suspects have been detained in connection with his killing. Jackson was one of 22 prison officers who have been killed in the past 28 years.