Dynamic security, escort service training, and data analysis and management are some of the areas in which the Seychelles Prison Service recently held discussions with its Israeli counterpart.
According to a September 1 press release from the Seychelles Prison Service, the first virtual meeting took place on August 30, 2022. Led by the Commissioner of the Seychelles Prison Service, Raymond St. Ange, the meeting provided an opportunity for the service to review opportunities for engagement with the Israel Prison Service in critical areas of prison operations.
Speaking to SNA on Friday, St. Ange said the areas of cooperation being discussed are areas where the local prison service needs to make improvements. He pointed out that during his visit to a prison headquarters in Israel, which took place in early 2020, he observed the extensive knowledge held by officers and the training program in place.
“The work there is intense, with officers encountering different situations on a daily basis and as such they have good experience and a sharp platform from which to operate. is a solid training ground. In many countries they send their staff to a training prison whereas in Seychelles we only have a functioning prison. We have to approach things a little differently to ensure security of our staff, especially when they are in training,” said St. Ange.
With discussions currently at a preliminary stage, the commissioner plans to welcome an Israeli officer to the country, who will be responsible for carrying out an assessment of the services and work carried out at the Seychelles Prison Service.
“From there, we can take steps to develop a plan based on the response,” St. Ange said.
In addition to discussions with the Israel Prison Service, the University of Seychelles has been engaged to develop short courses for officers who work in and with the Seychelles Prison Service. De-escalation and conflict resolution, officer safety and prison inmate relations, and social skills, among others, are courses that will be offered to staff.
“If we can, together with our partners, develop such a course, we can put together 12-15 specific modules including interview techniques, report writing, English skills and basic writing,” said St. Angel.
“There are already short courses that we can start accessing next year. We are already looking at different prison academies around the world, especially in the United States, which are already offering online courses. It will be better for us through our limitations and access. We have to use the technology that we already have,” he continued.
The commissioner further pointed out that the Seychelles Prison Service has “a huge amount of stuff to do with a very small administration and a very small team. We have to focus on the management of the prison.”
“Our service needs to expand in terms of staff. We are in the process of building a new high security remand center, a new remand center which has been proposed and approved proximity to the courts, and a juvenile detention center facility for Praslin,” St. Ange said.
The Seychelles Prison Service already has cooperation agreements with Mauritius and Tanzania, and it has also had preliminary discussions with Morocco.