As we noted two of the prison guards were hospitalized and two prisoners shot. While CEO Murillo referred to the shooting of the prisoners not life threatening that was proven wrong as 27-year-old Stephan Jenkins died from a shot to the butt.
Virgillio Murillo, CEO, Kolbe Foundation: “One prisoner got shot in his ankle and the other got shot in his buttocks I think but not life threatening wounds any at all. We don’t have rubber bullets at the time what we have is pepper ball but the way they were going on, violent because if you see the guard you’ll get the understanding of how vicious they were they were literally out to kill and so that was the only way to really control the hundred and sixteen – it’s a lot of prisoners.”
Minutes after the riot broke out this morning our newsroom received a call saying that the prisoners were being beaten severely and that their human rights were being infringed. During a press brief this morning CEO Murillo addressed the allegation and asserted the prison’s views on the matter of human rights.
Virgillio Murillo, CEO, Kolbe Foundation: “As it relates to human rights of inmates I think Kolbe Foundation is – remember our vision and our mission hinges on the respect of people’s human rights. I’m not too sure if you know what the prison looked like prior to 2002, I have a video I wouldn’t mind sharing with you some other time but certainly we try to meet standards. We try to meet international standards even if it’s not in law. We are guided very much by the Nelson Mandela rules and we try to apply all of those things. One of the things I need to mention here though is that when prisoners come to prison they would literally want you to think that they’re all innocent and we can’t overlook that so that is precisely what they do they go and call the media. I have no difficulty in being scrutinized because at the end of the day each and every building has their pay phones that the prisoners maintain contact with their family members. Prior to COVID we had volunteers coming in to the prison, almost fifty different ministries and I’m thinking that if there were any abuses taking places whatever that is I believe that these very same people who come here would go out and talk. I always- these guys at administrative segregation these are people who are being sanctioned for breaking prison rules, for being violent those kinds of things. It’s only a few of them, it’s less than a hundred and I cannot have them hold the prison ransom. I have a population of twelve hundred right now how do you reckon with having less than a hundred prisoners try to assert themselves and run the prison? We need to maintain order and discipline that is what prisons are all about but it’s so easy to just say “Oh you’re violating my human rights.” We also have to bear in mind that it’s a balance. What about the human rights of those victims and survivors of victims that they left on the outside ? It cannot be honkey dorey in the prison, I’m sorry. There’s a privilege system if they want the privilege they can earn it you don’t get it automatically. It’s not an entitlement.”
Jenkins was serving 20 years in prison for the manslaughter of Dennis Williams on November 8, 2012.