“From ensuring our prisoners receive their basic needs such as food and medical care, to hiring more officers, our administration has worked hard to bring DOC into compliance,” Acting Governor Ray Tenorio said. “With this budget, the Legislature is forcing DOC to fail.”
The Speaker’s budget bill could be catastrophic for our island’s only prison, according to the Department of Corrections Director Tony Lamorena.
Just a few months ago, the consent decree against DOC was lifted. Yet, the budget the Legislature approved could put the prison into federal receivership.
DOC has recently taken great strides in addressing contraband issues within the prison, working with Customs and Quarantine and Guam Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division and K9 unit.
“”Correctional officers are dedicated unsung heroes who on a daily basis risk their lives to protect the community from known violent criminals. They are not visibly seen in the community and are easily forgotten, but that does not lessen the importance of their work which is easily taken for granted. Our officers and staff are true professionals contributing their part to ensure the safety of the entire community. Presence is the greatest deterrent so by showing more K9 and shakedowns we hope to cut down drastically the contraband issue,” Lamorena said.Other ways DOC will be addressing contraband issues:
• The recent purchase of iConnect radios to replace the use of officers’ personal cellphones in the prison. Personal phones will be banned.
• Increased security
• Full shakedowns of the prison facilities, including individual cell shakedowns
• Increased presence of K9 units during shift changes and visitor areas, and walk throughs of the compound and cells
• Scheduled vendor deliveries for better security
• Hourly checks of each post within the prison by Special Operations
• 100-percent pat down of all staff and visitors
• All contraband being turned over to GPD“With all the work DOC is doing to improve our prisons, why is the Legislature so willing to prevent our prison’s progress? Public safety officers don’t deserve this legislative insult to their 24/7 sacrifices. Officers and their families know how hard it is to try and make ends meet, both at work and at home. People are not stupid; they know that short changing public safety now is a political tactic,” said Acting Governor Ray Tenorio.