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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, July 4, 2022


Attorney General Iver Stridiron said this weekend that the territory is prepared to house 98 inmates locally who are now serving sentences in the federal prison system.
Stridiron said one of the most the pressing reasons for bringing the inmates to the territory is the cost of their federal custody.
"We’re paying in excess of $100,000 a month to house those prisoners in the federal Bureau of Prisons to which we already owe $12.5 million," he said.
The debt is so delinquent that it has been forwarded to the U.S. Treasury Department for collection, he said.
Stridiron is headed to Washington this week for a round of meetings with Delegate Donna Christian-Christiansen and representatives of the Treasury Department in an attempt to waive the debt.
He said he will underscore the fact that beginning in March, the V.I. inmates housed in federal prisons will be returned home.
"It’s a move to stop the fiscal bleeding," Stridiron said.
The local Bureau of Corrections, a division of the Justice Department,
has expanded capacity at St. Croix’s Golden Grove Prison.
Not only will the extra beds accommodate inmates now on the mainland but they also will relieve the overcrowding that resulted in a lawsuit by inmates against the government.
Stridiron said, "There was a recent hearing by Judge Stanley Brotman who is overseeing improvements at the prisons and he appeared generally pleased at the improvements we are making."
Stridiron admitted that the judge still wants some issues to be addressed. "One of them was the fire safety," he said. "In response we are putting together a contract with ADT security."
Stridiron said Brotman also asked the Corrections Bureau to provide a full-time staff member to address the prisoners' health needs. "We’re doing that as well," he said.

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