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Thursday, May 26, 2022
HomeNewsArchives56 CONVICTS MOVED FROM MAINLAND BACK TO V.I.

56 CONVICTS MOVED FROM MAINLAND BACK TO V.I.

A 727 jet plane from the mainland touched down at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix late Thursday night and then flew on to the Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas shortly after midnight, disembarking a total of 56 Virgin Islands convicts about to begin serving the remainder of their prison terms in the territory.
On St. Croix, 26 convicts were taken off the plane and transported by Justice Department personnel to the Golden Grove Correctional Facility.
On St. Thomas, 30 prisoners were taken from the plane to Justice Department vehicles that surrounded the aircraft and were transported to the recently opened Farrelly Criminal Justice Center prison annex in Sub Base.
U.S. marshals escorted the prisoners to the territory.
Bureau of Corrections acting director Jerry Enos said his plan is to have all V.I. prisoners still in mainland facilities returned to the territory within the next year. "We are in the process of adding 320 beds at Golden Grove," he told The Source, "and as soon as that's completed, I'll make the arrangements to bring all of the other prisoners back." The Golden Grove expansion "should be completely finished by next September," he said. He estimated that 100 to 120 other V.I. prisoners remain on the mainland and said they could be returned "in increments."
Enos said the returned prisoners had been incarcerated since July 1997 at a privately operated prison facility in Mason, Tenn. He said one prisoner taken to the Golden Grove facility would be released shortly. Another 15 Virgin Islanders who had previously been held at the Tennessee prison had been released or had returned to the territory earlier for court hearings.
Published and broadcast reports placed the cost to the V.I. government of having all of the V.I. convicts incarcerated on the mainland at $200,000 to nearly $500,000 a month. Enos said Corrections is billed $60 per day per inmate.
Attorney General Iver Stridiron has been quoted as saying the territory owes about $15 million to mainland prisons for housing Virgin Islands prisoners. He told The Daily News that it was just one month in arrears in payments owed to the Tennessee prison. Enos told The Source he did not have exact figure but understood that payments to the Tennessee institution had been brought "pretty much up to date."
Stridiron said some of the transferred prisoners are hardened criminals, but he told Radio One News he was confident the Bureau of Corrections could handle their re-entry into the territory. He said the prisoners were flown to the islands on a U.S. Marshals Service plane at no cost to the territory, but that busing the convicts to the departure airport cost the V.I. government $3,200.
According to Stridiron, the territory can handle the influx of prisoners without violating its compliance with a 1994 court order to cap the St. Thomas jail population at 97, thanks to the opening of the Sub Base annex. Further, he noted, the 360-bed expansion at Golden Grove is nearing completion.

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A 727 jet plane from the mainland touched down at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix late Thursday night and then flew on to the Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas shortly after midnight, disembarking a total of 56 Virgin Islands convicts about to begin serving the remainder of their prison terms in the territory.
On St. Croix, 26 convicts were taken off the plane and transported by Justice Department personnel to the Golden Grove Correctional Facility.
On St. Thomas, 30 prisoners were taken from the plane to Justice Department vehicles that surrounded the aircraft and were transported to the recently opened Farrelly Criminal Justice Center prison annex in Sub Base.
U.S. marshals escorted the prisoners to the territory.
Bureau of Corrections acting director Jerry Enos said his plan is to have all V.I. prisoners still in mainland facilities returned to the territory within the next year. "We are in the process of adding 320 beds at Golden Grove," he told The Source, "and as soon as that's completed, I'll make the arrangements to bring all of the other prisoners back." The Golden Grove expansion "should be completely finished by next September," he said. He estimated that 100 to 120 other V.I. prisoners remain on the mainland and said they could be returned "in increments."
Enos said the returned prisoners had been incarcerated since July 1997 at a privately operated prison facility in Mason, Tenn. He said one prisoner taken to the Golden Grove facility would be released shortly. Another 15 Virgin Islanders who had previously been held at the Tennessee prison had been released or had returned to the territory earlier for court hearings.
Published and broadcast reports placed the cost to the V.I. government of having all of the V.I. convicts incarcerated on the mainland at $200,000 to nearly $500,000 a month. Enos said Corrections is billed $60 per day per inmate.
Attorney General Iver Stridiron has been quoted as saying the territory owes about $15 million to mainland prisons for housing Virgin Islands prisoners. He told The Daily News that it was just one month in arrears in payments owed to the Tennessee prison. Enos told The Source he did not have exact figure but understood that payments to the Tennessee institution had been brought "pretty much up to date."
Stridiron said some of the transferred prisoners are hardened criminals, but he told Radio One News he was confident the Bureau of Corrections could handle their re-entry into the territory. He said the prisoners were flown to the islands on a U.S. Marshals Service plane at no cost to the territory, but that busing the convicts to the departure airport cost the V.I. government $3,200.
According to Stridiron, the territory can handle the influx of prisoners without violating its compliance with a 1994 court order to cap the St. Thomas jail population at 97, thanks to the opening of the Sub Base annex. Further, he noted, the 360-bed expansion at Golden Grove is nearing completion.