December 6, 2023

Strange disease hits overcrowded Monrovia Central prison facility, allegedly leading several inmates dead

According to reports, a strange illness outbreak has caused deaths among prisoners at the Monrovia Central Prison. According to information obtained by this news outlet independently from a variety of family sources, the government’s failure to adequately address the medical needs of these prisoners is to blame for a lot of their maladies.

Approximately six people have died at the institution in the last two weeks due to disease, which is partly a result of overcrowding at the facility, according to anonymous facility sources. The reports mentioned, that the bodies of those deceased convicts were being secretly transported from the John F. Kennedy Medical Center to an unidentified location by medical vans.

According to reliable sources, the Monrovia Central Prison, popularly known as South Beach, is currently turning away inmates at its facilities as a result of this circumstance. However, according to our sources, the Monrovia Central Prison administration is withholding information regarding the deaths of these inmates from the public.

“It’s very worrisome;  the lack of food, insufficient medical attention, lack of safe drinking water, and the overcrowded facility,” our anonymous source in the prison facility revealed.

It is reported that the prison was designed to house 375 criminals, but there are currently more than 1,600 there, including sentenced detainees and those being held for trial, and their access to food is still unpredictable. According to reports, many detainees are weak from a lack of food and medical supplies, and a few are progressively degenerating into living skeletons.

Our anonymous source bemoaned, “The death rate is getting so high but they are hiding it from the Public and to prove this for sure, on December 12, 2022, Varney Lake, the Prison Superintendent began to take a radical step by refusing to take in inmates from the various courts to South Beach on the grounds that the prison is overcrowded.

This new outlet has also learned that judges at the Temple of Justice had started holding discussions with public defendants and prosecutors on Tuesday, December 13, between the hours of 12:00 noon and 15:30 pm, brainstorming on how to move forward regarding the situation at the prison. This is because the action from the Monrovia Central Prison Superintendent has reached the Office of Chief Justice and judges from various Courts who had to send inmates into the compound.

The prison compound has been fighting to feed itself for more than a year, and the government has done nothing to help. As a result, the prison leadership has become destitute and depends on donations from charities, organizations, and other well-meaning business partners just to provide food for inmates every day, including the Jeety Trading Corporation.

When contacted, by Assistant Justice Minister For Correction and Rehabilitation, Eddie Tarawali as it relates to the situation, Minister Tarawali told this News Outline that the information about the death toll rising at the Monrovia Central Prison is untrue but admitted, that the facility is overcrowded. Minister Tarawali confirmed that even though, some inmates are ill at the facility, they have been taking treatments at a mini clinic within the Prison Facility, nothing that unless it’s a critical condition before they are transferred to the John F. Kennedy Medical Center.

“The prison is overcrowded, yet nobody has died according to my records, just like people die often in society and in prison as well. When patients have illnesses that can be treated in the prison, we do it. We have a small clinic that takes care of minor ailments, and when a patient’s condition is critical, we refer them to JFK.”

The Assistant Minister did point out that some of the illnesses that the inmates were suffering from included rashes, scabies, and other skin infections, while others included malaria, which the mini-clinic could treat. Minister Tarawali highlighted that the government has started building more prison facilities at the Monrovia Central Prison as a way to decongest the facility.

Talawali stated, “We are working with the courts to guarantee we can proceed with the fast-tracking of Magistrate sitting because the authorities have chosen not to take any inmates until they decongest the institution.”

The Minister stated that there will be a lot of work to be done on the facility and mentioned that the engineers are putting up a building to house more prisoners. He maintained that the overcrowding is due to the lack of prison capacity in the country.

According to the Assistant Minister, the building of the second prison facility is an urgent undertaking because the country’s prisons are currently all too full. Minister Tarawali asserts that the second prison facility is part of a plan to relieve pressure on the Monrovia Central Prison by releasing inmates who have committed misdemeanor crimes as well as others who fall into various categories.

He explained: “There are people who have been convicted with restitution and when they are convicted with restitution and completed the term of their sentence but did not restitute fees charged, their time will be calculated and will be let out to pay the remaining amount. Also, another group of people who came for misdemeanor offenses will be let out. The court should be able to litigate that and there should be alternative sentences for those people, while the last group will be people of old age from 70 to 80 years, but are not harmful anymore.”

The process of freeing these detainees is anticipated to begin between December 14 and December 17, according to Minister Talawali. When that is accomplished, according to the assistant minister for discipline and rehabilitation, space will be made in the jail facility for people who committed murder and other heinous crimes.

Reported by: G. Watson Richards
Contacts: +231880381808/775807140

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