Recent prison escapes require evaluation of system

By MyVue Staff Reporter

Basseterre, Monday, 26th July, 2021 (MyVue ease with which prisoners and those in the custody of the police, have managed to escape from the main prison facility in Basseterre and the lock-up at the Charlestown Police Station, demand urgent investigations and a re-evaluation of the system currently in use.

It has become obvious that something is wrong. Dreadfully wrong.

The authorities have admitted that “While several measures have been implemented to improve security at the Prison, which was constructed in 1840, its management team will conduct an assessment to determine what additional steps can be taken to prevent further occurrences.”

In recent years, security cameras have been placed around the facility and guard towers erected, but still, not enough to prevent the escapes.

This past weekend, the escape of three prisoners begs the question, how could this have taken place?

The three men made their departure from custody on Saturday, 24th July, 2021, but were not able to get very far.

The first one to be caught, literally just outside the prison walls and main police station, was 24-year-old Lashon Hendrickson of Ponds Pasture. He was nabbed on Hart Street by police officers after a joint operation was launched.

The other two men, 19-year-old Jonothan Rawlins of Newtown, and 26-year-old Estevan Lawrence of St. Peters only got as far as the old Basseterre High School grounds, about 400 meters to the north of the prison. They were captured by prison officers.

There have also been other recent incidents of persons escaping lawful custody but eventually being captured.

The weekend escape in Basseterre came almost one week after a similar incident in Charlestown, when murder suspect Patrick Howell, made his way to ‘freedom’ from the lock-up facility at the police station on Main Street.

Howell is accused of the murder of Travis Clarke on 16th July, at Happy Hill, just two days before his escape.

He too did not get too far before police captured him. He was caught not too far from where the killing of Clarke took place.

What confused many was that Howell had surrendered to police but still elected to escape custody in less than 24 hours.

Like Howell, in Nevis, the three in St. Kitts are all back in custody where they are on remand at the prison facility awaiting trial.

A release from the police assured that the matter will be investigated by the Police and the relevant charges will be laid.

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