Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
His Majesty’s Prison
Prisons, Training
Release Date:
Friday, 19 April 2024 - 2:52pm

Two prison officers from His Majesty’s Prison recently completed Control and Restraint (C&R) training in Bermuda.

Acting Principal Officers Ms. Alan Jackson and Mr. Kesena Okoro underwent an intensive three-week course during which they acquired the latest officer safety, de-escalation, and personal protection techniques.

Superintendent Mr. Jay Kendall said the training marked a significant milestone as it was the first time a female officer from the Virgin Islands has completed the programme.

Superintendent Kendall said, “This achievement underscores our commitment to improving decency, respect, and equality within the Virgin Islands Prison Service. We continue to promote equality and inclusion, and have been working closely with the Office of Gender Affairs to foster a more inclusive environment in the prison.”

The officers are expected to collaborate with the Superintendent Team to retrain all operation staff, ensuring a safer and more secure environment within the Territory’s prison facility.

Mr. Kendall expressed gratitude for the collaborative effort of the Ministry of Health & Social Development and the UK Ministry of Justice overseas justice programme that made this training initiative possible.

Superintendent Kendall also extended sincere thanks to colleagues in Bermuda for hosting the training and for their warm welcome to participants from various British Overseas Territories.

"This training initiative exemplifies our dedication to enhancing safety and professionalism within HM Virgin Islands Prison Service,” the Superintendent said, adding, “I am pleased to see the progress we've made towards equality and inclusion, and I look forward to further collaboration with Bermuda, other territories and partners."

Meanwhile, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Ms. Tasha Bertie, voiced support for prison-led training, which is expected to benefit both the staff and prisoners at His Majesty’s Prison.

Ms. Bertie said, “The Ministry of Health and Social Development is cognizant of the pivotal role staff training plays in fostering a safe environment, and whole-heartedly supports this prison-led training opportunity.”

The Acting Permanent Secretary added, “The ministry was happy to provide the necessary financial resources to the administrative team at the prison to ensure officers are equipped with the tools to obtain skills to not only protect their own well-being but also to effectively safeguard the individuals under their supervision.”

The successful completion of the training aligns with the Government's recent initiative for all public officers to engage in continuing professional development annually. It also forms an integral part of the wider training and development plan for the prison service.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development remains committed to improving the skills and competencies of its employees to better serve the interests of the people of the Virgin Islands.


Fitsroy Randall

Information Officer I
Ministry of Health and Social Development
Vornicia's House of Commerce, Long Bush
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
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