KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — The Ministry of National Security on Monday announced that the Belle Isle Correctional Facility is operational, following transfer of 226 prisoners on the weekend.

A release from the Office of the Prime Minister said the prisoners were moved from the institution in Kingstown, to the Belle Isle facility.

By the end of this week, a further 20 prisoners will be transferred to Belle Isle.

Her Majesty’s Prisons in Kingstown will remain operation, and will house 146 prisoners, including 140 on remand and 20 who are in the maximum-security area.

Fourteen female prisoners are still at Fort Charlotte, and will remain there until the next construction phase of the Belle Isle Facility is complete, at a cost of EC$2.7 million dollars.

The inmates at Belle Isle have been issued new clothing, with the internationally accepted orange colour replacing the traditional blue uniform.

As a result of the move, prison officials at Belle Isle have instituted a new visiting policy with immediate effect. Persons now wishing to visit inmates at Belle Isle, must now make an appointment to do so, by calling 457-1937 or 485-7010.

The officials also say that no toiletries will be accepted from members of the public, as these items must be purchased from the commissary at Belle Isle.

The Belle Isle Correctional Facility was constructed at a cost of EC18.7 million dollars to house 288 inmates.

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