The site was chosen over the initial Bay Leaf Hill area (located at the Claude Noel Highway extension in the vicinity of the shooting range) which was also earmarked as the site for the construction of a regiment camp and it was felt that the prison would have been too close for comfort.
The new site was agreed upon during what was described as a “fact finding visit” by junior National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds and Prisons Commissioner John Rougier who toured the Scarborough prison facilities and visited both sites yesterday.
The pair were accompanied by an engineer and Tobago West MP, Stanford Callender, who indicated that systems would now be put in place to fast track the building process in order to alleviate the cramped conditions at the existing prison.
According to Callendar, while the facility was sanitary and a number of issues that had been raised recently including poor ventilation had been addressed, the prison was housing approximately 64 prisoners when it was built to accommodate around 30.
The facility was refurbished in 1980 to initially facilitate the transfer of prisoners to Trinidad and was said to have honourably “served its time.”
The new multi-purpose prison will include accommodation for juveniles and adults (male and female) as well as facilities for educational and rehabilitative programmes, however, no date has been given as to when construction will begin and end.
The officials were scheduled to meet with THA Chief Secretary Orville London following the tour but efforts to contact London were unsuccessful.