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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, July 23, 2024


The return of the next batch of local prisoners to the territory from federal prisons on the mainland will be delayed two weeks so the V.I. Bureau of Corrections can train more guards.
Speaking at Rotary West on St. Croix Tuesday evening, Attorney General Iver Stridiron said that the 30 prisoners scheduled to be returned from the Federal Bureau of Prisons at the end of the month will instead be brought back on Oct. 15. The return of the remaining 24 prisoners will also be delayed 15 days until Nov. 15.
All of the territory’s prisoners that have been held off island due to a consent decree between the federal and local governments will be housed in the Golden Grove Correctional Facility by the end of December, Stridiron said.
To accommodate the incoming prisoners, Corrections must hire 42 guards, Stridiron has said in prior interviews. So far 26 prisoners have been returned while about 22 guards have been hired, 10 of whom in mid-September.
On Tuesday, Stridiron reconfirmed that if any of the returning prisoners cause trouble in the V.I. system they will find themselves headed to Virginia, where the territory has contracted with a state prison to house local misfits at the equivalent $60-a-day it costs to house prisoners in the territory.
Still, some of the more "psychotic" inmates will stay in mainland facilities because of their dangerous backgrounds, Stridiron said.
"There are some of them we don’t wish to bring back to the Virgin Islands because of the type of characters they are," Stridiron said, adding that at least two prisoners at Golden Grove, including Bradley "Hurtie" Maxwell, will be shipped to Virginia along with 10 already in stateside prisons.
Maxwell has escaped from local custody twice, including a 11-day escape that spanned August and September.
But because of benefits available at Golden Grove, like sunshine, color TVs, cable, and VCRs, Stridiron said the prisoners who have already been returned don’t want to be shipped back to the mainland.
"They apparently like coming back to the Virgin Islands because of the experience they have had on the mainland," Stridiron said. "They have absolutely no interest in upsetting the apple cart . . . because if they break the rules they’re out of here."
Meanwhile, Sen. Gregory Bennerson, chairman of the Government Operations Committee, is holding public hearings on the Bureau Corrections Wednesday evening. He said the hearings are, among other issues, to discuss the manpower shortages in Corrections in light of the returning prisoners.
"The hearing is to address the human factor in the Bureau of Corrections," Bennerson said. "People have to be able to work in a reasonable environment."
The hearings begin at 6 p.m. at the Senate building in Frederiksted.

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