UK-Seychelles prison staff on exchange visits


Meanwhile, the three Seychellois prison staff who the UK prison officers exchanged with, are on their way back to Seychelles after their two-week experience working at one of the UK's largest prisons, Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Isle of Wight.

The programme is funded by the UNODC counter piracy programme and supported by the minister responsible for Home Affairs, Joel Morgan, and British High Commissioner Matthew Forbes.

A press release from the British High Commission in Victoria said Senior Officer Kay Porter, Senior Officer Andy Taylor and Officer David Butler-Trump from HMP Isle of Wight had been shadowing staff at Montagne Posée, learning more about its conditions, and what it is like to work there.

The UK officers also shared best practice, helping to introduce new systems and procedures to improve security and purposeful activity for prisoners, as well as providing quality training to staff.

Talking of the exchange, Mr Porter said: “This has been an invaluable experience; the conditions and resources at Montagne Posée are very different from that in the Isle of Wight and we have really come to understand the challenges that local prison officers face.

“It’s been a very productive two weeks, we’ve been busy sharing what we know and mentoring our colleagues, as well as using what we are learning to reflect upon our own style and methods for managing prisoners.”
Deputy Superintendent at the Montagne Posée prison, Will Thurbin, said:

“This is the first time that an exchange like this has taken place and I think it’s been a really effective way to achieve a lot in a short space of time. It’s always refreshing to have a fresh perspective on how to do things and receive constructive feedback on how we can improve our working practices, to create a better prison service for the wider community.

I’m also looking forward to welcoming back our own three staff and hearing from them about their experiences, incorporating what they have learnt to improve what we do.”  

Montagne Posée currently houses 450 prisoners and is run by Superintendent Maxime Tirant and Deputy Superintendent Will Thurbin.

HMP Isle of Wight was officially launched in April 2009 and is the organisational amalgamation of the former HMP's Albany, Camp Hill, and Parkhurst, holding approximately 1700 prisoners.

UNODC was created in 1997 and is mandated to assist member States in their struggle against illicit drugs, crime and terrorism. UNODC is particularly active in Seychelles in relation to the counter piracy programme.


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