MONDAY, AUGUST 15: Prison officers have unanimously voted to go on strike amid concerns over pay and the additional danger of dealing with a new breed of criminal, the Bermuda Sun has been told.
The decision was taken by unanimous vote late last week and the officers are expected to hand in their 21-day strike notice to Government sometime this week.
Several prison officers told the Bermuda Sun they want their pay to be brought closer in line with police.
They are also “extremely” concerned about dealing with Bermuda’s new breed of serious criminal.
They said these “hardened” criminals have “no thought about making threats about family” members.
They believe there are some criminals who would be in a position to carry out those threats - even from behind bars.
And they feel that prisoners who break the rules and attempt to intimidate officers are not dealt with harshly enough.
The guards said while the police “bag and tag” the criminals, it’s the prison officers who have to deal with them day in and day out, meaning their pay should be in line with police officers.
Several prison officers also told us that punishments meted out to prisoners — which include three days of solitary confinement — were not enough for some of the serious offences occurring behind bars.
Commissioner of Prisoners Eddie Lamb was contacted but is off the island until August 22.