Drugs rule in local jail

| 20/03/2012

Prison gate (232x300).jpg(CNS): The use of ganja by inmates at HMP Northward is so pervasive it rules the day to day goings on throughout the jail, according to a recently released inmate. Speaking to CNS, the former prisoner, who was serving a sentence for a non-violent, non-drug related offence, saidthat ganja was used openly while he was there, with officers turning a blind eye to its consumption. The ex-inmate told CNS that the older prisoners controlling the trade inside the jail use juvenile inmates to collect and run the drugs. He also revealed that prisoners are making a potent homebrew out of their breakfast juice and stolen yeast. Prison officials, however, refute the idea that drugs are tolerated in the prison.

Eric Bush, Chief Officer in the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs, which has responsibility for the local prison system, said contraband, including drugs, alcohol, weapons and cell phones, are not uncommon in prisons around the world. 

"Whilst we would all like to have absolutely sterile prisons, this is not the reality that we live in,' he said. "That said, there is no tolerance for contraband found within Cayman's prisons."

The former prisoner, who has asked CNS to protect his identity, said he wanted to relate his experiences because he believes it is important that the Cayman public understands the extent of the problems inside HMP Northward with drug and alcohol misuse. Mostof the drugs get inside over the prison fence, which the prison admits is now an almost daily offence, and the former inmate explained what happens.

“Cell phones play a big part in co-ordinating this feat for it is important for the 'collector' to reach the drugs before security catches them on the cameras,” he told CNS. Once the ganja is thrown over, he explained, those controlling the drugs business dispatch their ‘’foot soldiers" to collect the drugs and run with it into the block, where it is immediately handed over to another inmate to avoid a search. “In most cases these individuals are juveniles because they cannot be penalized and they are also impressionable,” the ex-inmate said, adding that the youngsters were paid for their efforts in ganja.

"Once inside the block the 'bosses' break apart the ganja and divide it into pill bottles obtained from the prison clinic. These bottles are then sent to other blocks for $100 a bottle. The lower level dealer then breaks it up again into $5 portions for sale. Inmates pay the $5 in the form of phone cards or packs of cigarettes.”

Eric Bush said individuals are serving prison sentences after being caught and found guilty of throwing drugs over the prison fence. “Officers in the prison are on constant watch,” he said. “They work relentlessly to prevent such contraband from entering and do all they can to detect what has been thrown over the chain-link fence or brought in illegally.”

Since June last year, he said, there have been 32 incidents of drugs recovered from prisoners and some 41 incidents of drugs found within the secure areas, which illustrates the pervasive nature of the problem.

The former inmate, who was serving his first ever sentence, agreed that the drugs were prevalent and used by a significant number of inmates but he described that use as flagrant. “The biggest shock for me at Northward was the blatant use of ganja in everyday life … Just walking into Bravo Wing, there is a pungent odour of weed.”

He revealed that most inmates smoke the drug in their cells but others sit in the main dining hall near the window and smoke while watching TV. “However, the real heavy smoking occurs at 9:30pm lock down, when the inmates know that the on duty guards cannot enter the cells past 9:30pm unless ordered by the director,” he said. “Between 9 to 9:30pm there is a mad dash by most of the inmates to purchase weed and rolling papers.”

The inmate claimed that a guard would bring him 2 to 3 packs of papers each week so he could swap them individually for snacks and cigarettes. “Each pack holds 32 individual sheets, which means 94 joints were consumed in a week just from the papers I sold,”he said.

Evening exercise is another popular time for prisoners to smoke as there is an unwritten rule between the inmates and the guards that this is their time to smoke weed, he claimed. “The officers sit and supervise the exercise field far away from the 50 or 60 inmates,” he said, adding that it was common to see guards ignoring those using the drug.

According to the ex-prisoner, the extent of the drug problem in jail drives prisoners to steal in order to pay for their weed and the most common form of stealing is food from kitchen. Inside Northward food is almost as valuable as the drugs, he said, and inmates working in the kitchen can steal and sell food to dealers to support their habit. “The dealers eat like kings at Northward and this encourages the drug trade,” he said.

Illustrating the prevalence of drug use, he explained that F-Wing, which is the enhanced wing with special privileges, was half full.

“It is the only place within Northward that if you fail a drug test you will get sent back to general population,” the ex-inmate stated. “Ironically, it is the only block that is currently halffull. It can house over 42 inmates but when I left it had only 21 inmates. This is in a prison that is dangerously over populated. Inmates tell me that they enjoy their ganja way too much to move over to F-Wing. That is to say, weed rules the minds and attitudes of most of inmates.”

However, officials denied that officers are complacent and lax, noting that there are consequences and inmates can get 28 days loss of remission when drugs are found on them. Bush said searches are carried out on a daily basis, both in cell blocks and around the prison estate. 

Over the last month alone, he said, 121 searches were conducted, which resulted in the recovery of cell phones, cell phone chargers, ganja and shanks (home-made weapons). Furthermore, since the start of the year 36 prisoners have been charged after testing positive for ganja or for having ganja in their possession. Officers carry out targeted and random drug testing continuously on prisoners, and from June 2011 to present a total of 240 male prisoners were tested. Of those, 61 tested positive for ganja and no one tested positive for cocaine, Bush added.

While ganja appears to be the drug of choice in Northward, inmates are also adept at brewing homemade alcohol, the former prisoner said.

“The inmates make a potent brew called 'lingo'. I have seen inmates totally hammered on this stuff on a weekly basis. Each morning at breakfast the usual suspects fill large jugs with any kind of citrus juice — orange or pineapple. They then either steal or purchase from kitchen workers the sugar or yeast for fermentation. Yeast is harder because the prison locks it up in a freezer.”

Once the prisoners have these basic ingredients, they store the juice mixed with the sugar and yeast under the prison bunks for about 5 to 8 days, he said.

“The pressure builds up so the inmate has to constantly loosen the cap so it doesn't explode,” the inmate said. “This has happened before and it sounds like a gun went off. Most prisoners who brew the sour tasting, wine-like-alcohol then sell it by the glass for weed or a $5 phone-card. When caught with "lingo" officers simply warn the inmates and dump out the homemade hooch.

“I have seen officers laugh at inmates who are  drunk and foolish, simply telling them to sleep it off,” he added, despite the fact that many prisoners are in Northward because of substance abuse problems.

Real bottles of rum are smuggled inside the jail to the blocks of the inmates who work the store room, he said. “When the items from the store room, such as inmates' canteen, soap, food for the kitchen or new prison uniforms, are delivered there always seems to be contraband included,” the ex-inmate added as he expressed his concern about the prevalent use of drugs and lingo by the very young prisoners, who, he said, were not only fearless but very angry.

According to Chief Officer Bush, since June last year there have been eight occasions where homemade alcohol (which, he said, is also made from fruits and bread soaked into water) was confiscated and the prisoners received four days loss of remission.

He also pointed out that staff at Northward work in an enclosed and often isolated environment with men deprived of their liberty. “Some of the prisoners are dangerous, aggressive, mentally disturbed and suffer from addiction,” the chief officer said, as he pointed to the assault on Friday in which an inmate bit off a piece of a prison officer’s ear.

“I would like to commend the men and women in the Prison Service for their honourable and dedicated service to the people of the Cayman Islands and encourage them to keep their heads high and continue to serve their country well,” Bush added.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Eric Bush – the reality is it is happening just like the ex-prisoner says. A while back some friends went to Northward to play football against the prisoners and other prisoners were standing around as spectators smoking their "spliffs" in full view of the prison guards and the visitors. They said it was quite amazing. On another occassion I visited a prisoner and in front of the guard that was there with us he said "any amount of ganja anybody want is available right here". So Mr. Bush take the advice of another writer that said put an undercover up there and get the real picture.

  2. Waste not Want Not says:

    No wonder the inmates are eating good! 

  3. Anonymous says:

    Em what do you say about a prison where a prisoner can buy, sell and use more drugs than if they were on the outside? I'm sure all the criminals won't mind a stay at this 2 star hotel!

    • Anonymous says:

      The answer is simple: move
      It to the Brac and make it a money maker regional prison.

      Jobs created and not as comfy if the baby mommas need to take a flight to visit their bad boys.

  4. T.L. Haranguer says:

    If you cannot control drugs inside the prison, we really have to think about decrimilising drug use and sales I mean come on now.

  5. Kadafe says:

    Oh really?? Is this the same prison that the guards have just each gotten a $600 to $800 raise? Whatever for to turn a blind eye? Big reward for such a slack job! Thanks for exposing this mess.

  6. Anonymous says:

    i say let them smoke it, the more they stress in jail the worse they will be when they are released! theres people that are so stressed the first time theyve tried ganja was in prison. Caffeine is just as bad when i cant get it

  7. Anonymous says:

    The cayman judicial system is so embarassingly backwards….it makes central florida (redneck capital) look like amsterdam. Grow up cayman legislators, it ain't that bad to wanna get a little bit high. maybe some of YOU would be able to work out your problems after a little bit of thc. 

  8. Pro-Weed says:

    If given the choice, I would think it would be far easier to monitor a group of passive marijuana users just trying to get through another day of jail, rather than a group of stir crazy men cooped up in a pen.  What I'd be concerned about is the brew. Alcohol use related deaths vs. Marijuana use related deaths ? 'Nuff said.

  9. Concerned Caymanian says:

    It is commendable for Mr. Eric Bush to take the time to comment so that the public is informed on what is being done at the prision to avoid drug abuse in prison. At the same time it is even more commendable that an ex prisioner would take the time to report what is actually being done within the prison. Not only does the individual sound concerned about the welfare of our prison system but he also sounds as an advocate to make a change. Whoever you are, be proud of the stance you made! It is one thing to get a report on the things that are being done but it is another thing to actually live through the experience. My advice to Mr. Eric Bush is that if you want a true report as to what is going on in the prison, have someone professional go undercover in the prison and see if the claims this individual makes is exaggerated or not. I am sure the discovery will be alarming!

  10. SPLIFF says:

    Why is it that every one who knows nothing about weed, has every thing to say about it.  Ask you a question?.

      Do you eat Pork?  Why not? is it because evil was cast into a herd of swine and they killed them selves? Well my herd was not there so there is nothing wrong with them.

    Dont talk about weed unless you have tried it.  Go and get yourself a joint smoke it and then tell me what it did to you.  I am very sure you  cannot write on this NS and say it wanted you to kill, beat or rob someone.  Yes if you say you went to the supermarket and bought 2  gallons of chocolate icecream and one coconut cake and ate it all you one, I will believe you.   However I would say pot need to stop cursing kettle black.  LEAVE THE HERB ALONE.

    • anonymous says:

      see this is proof..herb smokers can still think…umm..yep think!  Pork? who said port? By the way pass my some of that double chocolate and cookies Ice cream.

    • Anonymous says:

      smoked a lot and have quit. IT ALTERS YOUR JUDGEMENT.  That's why you smoke it.


      • SPLIFF says:

        2029 Your judgement was not correct from the beginning.   Weed does not alter your judgement.  If a person already has a f*******ed  up mind then weed will enhance it.  So stop blaming it on the spliff

        • Anonymous says:

          all I can say is …. wow.  Please tell me why you get high (or drunk)

        • The Magic Dragon says:

          True dat mah boy! I light up to meditate, enjoy music,sociale,even sleep at times, just like any alcohol consumer;but somehow weed got the bad rep. If we do our homework we will find an interesting story detailing why this plant was qualified as illegal, it has nothing to do with what the general public imagines.

          Im employeed, succesful and happy forthose who are  imagining some thug with a bandana wrote this post!

      • Anonymous says:

        well done for quitting.  I;ve heard that its emotionally addictive not physically, which makes it harder to quit.  Hope you have turned your life around. Good luck

        • The Magic Dragon says:

          Liquor and Ciggs are addictive as well,yet available for sale, Junk food causes disasterous effect on health but this too is sold openingly. It's all a matter of opinion, I for one rotate on and off the smoke as I please, however have seen "stressed" persons relying on it for comfort, kind of like when people are addicted to prescribed meds for the exact thing. Interesting, don't you think!?


          But lets continue to play this game, it's only costing the Island lots of $$$$$$$$.

          • Anonymous says:

            Okay, you win. Drugs are good for you and mankind. Have at it and we’ll talk in a few years.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The excuses for what are clearly systemic failures to stop illegal activities in our prison are beyond pathetic. There can be no rehabilitation in prison if the prison is run by gangs which use drugs as currency. Those in charge ought to be ashamed.

    If the prison administrators are not willing to stop drugs being thrown over the fence then I would like to propose a win-win. Fire 3 senior prison administrators and get half a dozen 150lb drug detection dogs and 3 dog handlers. Reward both the dogs and the handlers very well for each contraband item that they detect and secure whether the contraband is thrown over the fence or found inside. Take one of the dogs through every area of the prison everyday and turn the other two loose in the yard to chase down the runners. Money saved and problem solved.  

  12. Eric Bush says:

    Please allow me to share with you my actual communication with Ms. Ledger.  As you will see, my comment about contraband not being uncommon has been presented out of context.  I wish to assure you that drugs are not tolerated in the prison system and we are making improvements on a daily basis with regards to security and rehabilitation.


    Dear Ms. Ledger

    Thank you again for the opportunity to respond to the matters listed below. I have consulted with the Director of Prisons on these issues and submit the following in response. Grateful if you can insure that this is presented in the context in which it is intended.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or require clarification.

    Contraband in prisons, which include drugs, alcohol, weapons, cell phones and other unauthorized items, are not uncommon in prison systems around the world.  Whilst we would all like to have absolutely sterile prisons, this is not the reality that we live in.  That said, there is no tolerance for contraband found within Cayman’s prisons and I believe the below quantifiably illustrates this.

    The Officers of Her Majesty’s Prison Service work relentlessly to prevent such contraband from entering the prisonsand do all they can to detect such that has been thrown over the chain-link fence or brought in illegally.  Since June 2011 there were 32 incidents of drugs recovered from prisoners and some 41 incidents of drugs found within the secure areas. The consequences of drugs being found on prisoners range from 21 up to 28 days loss of remission.  Searches are carried out on a daily basis both on cell blocks and around the Prison estate.  For the period 25th February – 9th March 2012 a total of 121 searches were conducted throughout the Prison Service.  The results of the searches included the recovery of cell phones, cell phone chargers, ganja and shanks (home-made weapons).  From the beginning of this year, some 36 prisoners were charged for either testing positive for ganja or for having ganja in their possession.  These persons have received penalties from 21 – 28 days loss of remission.

    Officers carry out targeted and random drug testing continuously on prisoners. For the period June 2011 to present a total of 240 male prisoners were tested for ganja and cocaine. 61 of those tested positive for ganja and no one tested positive for cocaine. 36 females were tested, none were positive for ganja and 2 were positive for cocaine.  Both prisoners came into Prison within a week of testing positive.

    For the period of June 2011 to present there were eight occasions where homemade alcohol (usually made with fruits and bread soaked into water) was confiscated.  These persons received 14 days loss of remission.

    Prison Officers and Staff work in an enclosed and often isolated environment, having to work with men and women deprived of their liberty.  Some of the prisoners are dangerous, aggressive, mentally disturbed and/or suffer from addiction.  Just today a Prison Officer was assaulted by such a prisoner resulting in part of the officer’s ear being bitten off.  Despite this, the officers remained professional and the prisoner was secured by officers and was unharmed whilst doing so.  I say this to say that the officers at Her Majesty’s Prison Service are far from complaisant and lax.  They report to duty every day knowing that they are there to serve the people of the Cayman Islands in insuring that the prisoners incarcerated are to be secured and provided with adequate rehabilitation services to ease their transition back into mainstream society after they have served their respective sentences.

    I would like to commend the men and women in the Prison Service for their honorable and dedicated service to the people of the Cayman Islands and encourage them to keep their heads high and continue to serve their country well.

    Kind regards,

    Eric Bush


    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps the penalties imposed are not sufficient to deter one from breaking the rules?

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps more attention should be paid toward preventing illegal substances, phones etc to be entering the prison?

      Finding those things afterwards just extends the time the criminals have to spend in jail and accordingly the cost carried by the country is increasing.

      At the very minimum, install a second fence and have a drug dog on hand to sniff visitors!

    • Annoymous says:

      Once again I see that Mr. Bush continues to fill the unsuspecting public's ears with a lot of bureaucratic BS. As a former prisoner, who spent no less than a decade enjoying the comforts of Her Majesty's Cayman Islands Prison Services, I would like the truth to be known. Drugs are continuously being smuggled into the prison, by inmates and officials alike. There was even an incident where a quantity of marijuana was found in the Principal Officers office at which time the public was told, via the Cayman Compass, that it was believed that the persons responsible were prisoners who have been given trusted positions in the prison. What the public didn't hear is that a couple of days later urine test were given to the staff of said prison and that at least three of the officers, including a Lead Officer, couldn’t take the test until a few days later. Enough time to clean out their urine with the use of goldenseal and other agents alike to speed up the process.  I would further state that I believe these officers were afforded the time and told to clean out their systems for the upcoming test.

      Things will continue as they have for years unless some drastic measures are taken, namely the replacing of certain individuals in positions of power at Northward prison. Until then, the crimes that have been going on behind the public’s back will continue. I know some of you will read this and think that I am just a disgruntled ex prisoner, but believe me when I say that I have reaped the benefits of being incarcerated under the present regime. I spent my entire sentence under the influence of marijuana, instead of being rehabilitated, and many a day I watched with my own eyes as Officers at all ranks turn a blind eye. As a point of fact, the only thing they didn't do was role the joint for me. 

      So there you have it. Either believe it or try to get the Government to make some much needed changes or continue believing the BS.

    • Anonymous says:

      Eric, the picture you paint is in startling contrast to the account of the ex-prisoner whom I am inclined to believe as there is nothing to gain by making up such a story. Naturally, you are relying on the reports you receive but we now have reason to believe that they do not give an accurate picture. I agree with the poster who suggested that you need someone to go undercover and give an objective account. It appears that the prison system is corrupt.   

    • Anonymous says:

      perhaps Ganja should just be legalised.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Excuses Excuses!! Costing us 65K per year per inmate. Mr Bush were you not the one crying for CCTV cameras for the whole of Cayman. You better sort out Northward first.

    Instal more cameras in the store room,Kitchen and the fence. Maybe build it out of cement and slope the top outside to a 45 degree angle. then have  another chain link fence 7 feet away from the cement wall with of course barbed wire. Then if you want have a dogs on patrol in the 7 foot space. Make sure the inmates can reach them as not to poison them.

  14. Will Ya Listen! says:

    Progress in the War on Drugs! Do drugs, go to jail. Go to jail, do Drugs.

    Repeat this singing the song Windmills of your Mind.

    Like a circle in a spiral
    Like a wheel within a wheel
    Never ending or beginning
    On an ever-spinning reel

    Legalise marijuana? We can't even get the shops to open on Sunday! I'm off for a smoke. Cigarette of course.

  15. Anonymous says:

    > Eric Bush, Chief Officer in the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs, which has    > responsibility for the local prison system, said contraband, including drugs, alcohol, > weapons and cell phones, are not uncommon in prisons around the world.


    It is quite worrying that the Chief Officer's response is essentially 'this happens in other prisons too'. His response should be, 'now that we have this information we will be re-doubling our efforts to crackdown on illicit contraband'.

    Where is the will to clean up the prison? Where is the resolve to truly punish/rehabilitate these prisoners?

    If drug use is rapant inside the prison how are these prisoners going to be rehabilitated and re-enter society as productive citizens? Sounds to me like they will re-enter society hooked on weed having learnt to steal/trade and commit other dishonest acts in order to get drugs.

  16. Dare to Dream says:

    I am sorry to have to say this but Mr. Eric Bush does not appear to have the tenacity to  assis with control and stamping out the use of drugs in Northward.  I have never in a long time read anything so rediculous.  He does not evern give the impression of wanting to discontinue the drug trade, but instead has a stupid explanation for every comment made by the ex-prisoner.  I don't think he doing his job- Is he really ready to be Chief Officer?

    • Anonymous says:

      What is his degree in and can we see a copy?  How many years of experience does he have and where?  How many policies have he written?

  17. Anonymous says:

    As a former Prison Officer with HM Prison Service in the UK I can confirm that the use of illicet substances, including 'ganja' is a widespread and very distructive element of our prison systems. Those who glibly refer to the use of drugs in prison as a means of control and to 'chill' prisoners out are obviously delusional and without a sense of reality themselves. Far from being the benign substance that they claim, they are in fact a high value currency utilised by gangs and career criminals to exert control over others within the prison confines. I have personally had the misfortune on many occasions to witness the aftermath of a prison drug deal that went wrong.

    We are not talking about huge quantities, a couple of grams will be enough to trigger extreme violence by those who feel that they have been 'disrespected' or cheated by a purchaser. Drugs are used for extortion, victimisation, harassment, bullying and sexual depravity within prison establishments and should not be tolerated by any right thinking member of society. Of course the physical security of the establishment should be reinforced, but that alone will not banish illicet goods form the premises.

    There is no magic pill for the enforcement and denial of smuggled goods, however a start could be made with a major review of staffing, both uniformed and civilian. It should be undertaken without prejudice and in the establishments best interest, not that of individuals, where ever they may originate from. Those who visit prisons or prisoners should be exposed to more pro-active security measures, including drugs screening by canine and electronic means. If routine drug screening isn't already implemented amongst all staff, then it should be made so at the soonest opportunity, as should intensive education and training in drug awareness and detection.

    The authorities should implement a policy of total zero tolerance, backed up by an effective security and intelligence department. Establishment, staff and inmate searching should be robust, routine and implemented on a daily basis by specialist search teams given access to all available assets. These teams should also be highly proficiant in Control and Restraint techniques and have unfettered access to protective equipment should it be required. In short, prison mangement need to regain control on their terms and then have the means and willingness to maintain it.

    Prison Officers are not babysitters for society and they should not indulge in keeping prisoners pacified for a quiet life or to avoid confrontation. They are sworn officers of the crown and should behave as such. Their job is to contain, control and educate those who have been sentenced by the courts, however it is not their job to punish as that is the point of the sentence. Equally, they should never shy away from the laws and the rules that they are sworn to uphold, that includes robust and effective security inside and out the prison perimeter. If they don't feel that they can undertake such a difficult and potentially dangerous task for personal, family or community reasons, they should resign and look for other employment.

    It should never be forgotten that the task of a Prison Officer is often thankless and goes largely unnoticed by society, until things go wrong. There are many brave and selfless officers who have dedicated their lives to pro active and professional public service. However, there are also many whose aim is to drift through their career in the shadows, taking their salary and eventual pension without making a difference to the society they serve. These are the one's who need to go and go now!! 

    • Soapbox Sally says:

      Do you want a job? We could use you at our fine Northwood facility.

      • Anonymous says:

        Many thanks Soapbox Sally, but I'm an ex-pat and unwelcome enough on these islands due to the blinkered and self destructive policys of consecutive governments. It's the same old story, the Cayman Islands Government and some of their followers believe the tiny 'indiginous' population of this country can produce the skills and experience needed to run a complex 21st century society. The truth is that they can't and they are now starting to see how the big wide world really works, with all it's pitfalls and consequences.

        Until the peoples of these islands accept that they have a serious problem within their own community and that Caymanians really are at the heart of that problem, progress is unlikely and an uncertain future will follow. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Sorry to hear that you have such a negative view of Cayman and Caymanians. Expats who come and make a contribution to these Islands (rather than ride the backs of Caymanians and treat them with contempt) are most welcome. I do not believe that there is any Caymanian who actually believes that "the tiny 'indiginous' (sic) population of this country can produce the skills and experience needed to run a complex 21st century society". However, Caymanians do want and demand respect and fair treatment in their own country.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I am not a "ganja" user but just legalize it already.  Sell it in shops with a heavy tax to pay for education, rehabilitation and enforcement.  I would much rather have ganja users in the general population than alcohol abusers but keep it out of prisons. 

    It seems that there is a full explanation of how it gets in and distributed and how hard could it be to stop it?  The issues is that the people in charge have not made stopping substance abuse important.  Don't blame the guards blame the bosses.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The problem is that if anyone would actually enforce the laws and regulations, it would mean that someone would have to get off his/her behind and do some work. Why should they? There is no consequence to NOT be doing a job properly, it is just so much easier to turn a blind eye and once in a while whine to the press how they are overwhelmed and really struggle to make things work.

    I am so disgusted with the ENTIRE f—–ing system nowadays! I can't believe what has happened to this place. Poor disgust is all I have left.

  20. Anonymous says:

    All a u all, do-gooders perfectionists have never really understood what life is like behind bars in every country in the world.

    If weed and alcohol was not available to prisoners, the prison officers would suffer more violent attacks than they currently do…with the resulting injuries and even possible fatalities.

    Its a NO-WINsituation…let the weed run or suffer the cosequences.

    That is the reality of the situation.

  21. beachbaymeatballs says:

    I worked at H.M.P. Northward for 15 years,ganga was also in use then,home made alcohol was in use then. W e did all that we could do to put a stop to it, it was controlledbut still not stopped.Staff were also assaulted then.

    We did all that we could do but it is like fighting a war,we win some battels but not the war.The war is still being fought the authorities will continue to win some battels and hopefully one day they will win the war.    

  22. cubanlinx says:

    just blaze!!!!!

  23. The Magic Dragon says:

    We are wasting money on this "war", cant we see the longer it is illegal is the longer organized crime will profit from it! Decriminilaize the darn thing, allow people some freedom to make our own choices. Interesting,marijuana has never been proven to be destructive like alcohol or many of our prescription medicines, yet we act as though it is a plague going as far as calling it a "gateway drug", what utter nonsense.It's a plant ,it's mellow affect causing hysteria and comfort, lets not forget it's medicinal purposes.Have you ever read the headliner, Pot Head beats wife after a long night of smoking", in fact that headlines would go more like this "Incredibly, Pot Head eats a dozen pan pizzas after smoking fattie".Ofcourse a few regulations would have to be put in place like alcohol has however im confident in the 21st century we are up to the challenge. Imagine the money saved and generated? Others will say the youth this and the youth that, let me ask one thing? You honestly think the youth that smoke, dont drink, and with that being the case why are we only focused on the smoking??? Anyone else see the irony in this? Then they will say it destroys the family, well hell!, what has alcohol been doing for the last century? Then you will hear, people are going to become lazy and unmotivated…..well sirs and ladies, like Alcohol, Marijuana will be an adult stimulant legal to the mature! Can't tell you how many days I've taken off of work because of a hangover here and there, as Im sure is the case for many of us.We must break free of Govt control and develop into socities who can care and be accountable for ourselves.




  24. Anonymous says:

    Prisons around the world have the same problem…, For gods sake Eric this a a 300 person prison and not 2,500 inmates, you should be ashamed of yourself for responding with nothing but excuses, this is not on the job training, as always people like you get these jobs because of your political connections.

  25. Anonymous says:

    90% of what happens in this article is correct. 100% of how officers deal with it is WRONG.

    smuggling is an every day part of the job unfortunately, we constantly search. find, charge and confiscate drugs and contraband.

    inmates are constantly charged and awarded 28 days to their current sentence. however this is plainly not a large enough award and i believe needs reviewing. maybe a 3 or 6 month sentence awarded for posession of ganga would deter them?

    its by no m,eans a hotel or holiday destination in there. try it and see. unfortunately smuggling is happening every day and we try our best to deal with it. FACT

  26. Anonymous says:

    If half of what this former prisoner says is true and is not now fixed within 90 days then everyone up to the level of theDeputy Governor ought to be fired.

    Hears a thought – just do whatever it takes to keep drugs, illegal weapons, cell phones etc from getting into the prison. Close the roads, build new fences, put dogs in the areas into which drugs are thrown to deter those who run out to fetch them, etc.

    Here is another thought – the penalties described for possession of illegal drugs and illegal weapons are ridiculous. Whatever the penalty is now in days – change it to years in solitary.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

  28. Anonymous says:


  29. LOCKDOWN says:

    After carefully reading this report, my head is spinning, because here I am thinking.  There is little that can be done that has not been done before to stop drugs going into the prison.

    Believe me the job of a Prison officer is much more dangerous than a Police.  The fact is that a Police can move around on the outside but a prisoner Officer almost becomes like a prisoner when he is inside.

    Besides there is much fear, who would not be?  and with a society this size every body knows every body, that is why you do not see any Caymanians joining the prison service.  When Dwight Scott said thatthe prison is 55% Caymanians, I really do not know what he is talking about, and I really wish he would retract his words, and say the correct thing that the prison is 55% cayman status and resident holders, and the other 45% is on permit.  So literally speaking there are no Caymanians on this roll.

    Ganja in the prison.  Forget about making it go away, because it will not, never in my life time or yours.   Ganja does not make people agressive, but it will cause you to be too relaaaxed and not do too much work.  Make you want to sleep, eat and just do absolutely nothing.

    The question is, what kind of reacation that is seen by weed smokers by the guards?  Are they showing hostile behavior?  I doubt that.

    I am not saying that I encourage weed smoking in the prison, but I believe having people talk about it in there would maybe get a better response of consider leaving it alone.

    What is very important   working in a prison is that there is an honest to goodness good communication between, all.  Prisoners and Prison Officers.  After all the people in there are also men and women.  Being there is a punishment from society, but after all they should still be treated with some respect, and not treated as if they are dogs.  I wish you all luck

    • Anonymous says:

      The front page publication in the Caymanian Compass is is laughable if not hillarious, when Dwight Scott has the audacity to say the Prison is 55% staffed with Caymanians.  He, himself is in the 100% status holders/work permit holders.  I would humbly ask MR SCOTT, to publish a staff list of those caymanians who are employed at the Prison, which should not be that difficult for him to do.  He needs to stop painting such a beautiful picture of an extremely ugly secenery. 

      Is his rant more credible than the evaluation conducted by the Canadian Public Administration Institute, which said, 'fewer than half of the Prison's staff members were Caymanians'?  The fewer than half are representative of foreign accents.  When caymanians were employed at the prison, they were constantly sidelined and put down, forcing them out at every oppurtunity.  How many times under Mr. Scott's watch has so many incidents occurred?  He is still holding his position, but when others were in charge, who were Caymanians, they were removed from their jobs and showed the door.  What has changed????  Is it that status holders are more caymanian thanture born and bred indigenous, sidelined individuals?

      • LOCKDOWN says:

        Seriously  08:59 I totally agree with all you have said, and to futher comment, I would suggest that the Powers that be remove Dwight Scott from the Prison.  Come on now, check his track record to date.  It is not good and he is not running the prison correct.  More drugs are entering, even in staff quarters, HELLO?? The  herb is at ease n Northward prison.  So Legalize it. or get rid of the director.

  30. Married to a Caymanian says:

    Not uncomon in prisons around the world?  So basically, if other places have this problem we should too?  How about, "No"?

    Sorry Mr. Bush, that is just not good enough!  Tell me that Cayman is the first Caribbean country to have zero tolerance and you will get  my respect.  Making excuses that our prisoners have addictions and are agressive is no reason to allow them to get stoned and chill out every night.

    Maybe- just- maybe if our criminals learn that Northward is tough, hard, and drug-free the youth at risk will not choose the sad lifestyle of a criminal.  

    Mr. Eric Bush takes his new job seriously and step up to show the world that we can be a small benchmark for how things "should" run, not just talk like our other politicians.

    We are waiting….(and voting.)

  31. anonymous says:

    Before you all get too excited, Ganja keeps most of these inmates "mellow". Without it we would be having prison riots every day.

    I am not supporting drug use at all but you also have to recognize its benefits in this case.

    • Anonymous says:

      …some rubber bullets would put an end to any more riots pretty quickly.

      • Anotheranonymous says:

        And REALbullets would end any more riots even quicker!  In fact, it might end them for a

        l-o-o-o-n-n-n-g time.  Just sayin'.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not advocating drug use either but it does support the idea that the Prsion Officers do not have the high risk of violence that they would like us to believe. In my opinion the persons involved in assisting prisoners with drugs that may calm them are indirectly (directly? hmmm) making jobs of officers much easier.

      • Anonymous says:

        Because a high percentage of these prisoners have mental problems which are not being treated, they are self-medicating in the only ways they know.

    • Married to a Caymanian says:

      Sorry, but the doctors can give anti-anxiety drugs as prescriptions as needed.  I'm sure most of these high strung boys would do better with emotional counseling and probably a good portion require medication, but ganga is not the answer and what is created here is a sub-culture of gangs and prison commerce that is fueled from the outside.

      Stop the cell phones and cell phone cards too!  Stop allowing these thugs to rule their homies from inside.

      "Hard time"  is required NOW to send a message to our youths.  The LAST place they want to be is in prison.  Sorry, that message is NOT clear now.  Anticipate the riots, but quell these thugs and get the authorities back in power.  Yes, heads should roll for being so soft for a decade.

      • The Magic Dragon says:

        "I'm sure most of these high strung boys would do better with emotional counseling and probably a good portion REQUIRE MEDICATION, but ganga is not the answer and what is created here is a sub-culture of gangs and prison commerce that is fueled from the outside"


        So take them off weed and put them on Medication. What evidence do you have to suggest weed is not as good or even better than your toxic medication. Weed does not cause liver or kidney failure, nausea, anal leakage, stomach cancer, the list goes on. It's amazing, people who have no clue taking a stance on matters outside their league.The emotional consuelling is a good idea though, kudos.

        BTW: Studies suggest the cause of crime including gang activity is based on enviornment, parenting and oppurtunity, oppurtunity in this case to move an illegal product to a population of demand. This means if  cough syrup is made  illegal one day criminals will push it to those who demand it!Remember Al Capone, he was a criminal that pushed alcohol when it was outlawed in the United States, remember how they fixed that problem????? Yep your correct, they legalised it. See how that works!?P.S:Please don't debate on the cough syrup, it was just an example.

    • AllBlacks says:

      Agreed…and not only prisoners mate.