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Prisons Officers upset by State defence

Wednesday, April 30 2014

EVEN as she called for investigations into matters which were adversely affecting the State’s defence into prison litigation,” former Solicitor General Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell received a letter of complaint from the Prisons Officers Association about the poorly managed defence advanced by her office in lawsuits by prisoners against their members.

Burton Hill, former general secretary of the POA, in a letter dated May 5, 2011, sought an urgent meeting with Donaldson-Honeywell to discuss “issues related to the process involving the defence of prisons officers at the courts.”

“It is our observation that a number of actions being brought to the courts by inmates/ex-inmates against prisons officers are being concluded in favour of the claimants under circumstances where a proper defence is not being presented or poorly managed by your office. This is according to our reports.

“This situation is creating an extremely poor image of our service and is also placing the lives of officers and their family in jeopardy,” Hill wrote.

In a statement issued to the media on Monday, Donaldson-Honeywell said she held a meeting with Attorney General (AG) Anand Ramlogan on this issue and, “it was agreed that there should be a general investigation into matters adversely affecting the State’s defence in prison litigation.”

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