ALLOW me to express my disgust at the inhumane manner in which relatives of inmates are accommodated at the Golden Grove Prison in Arouca.
I have had the opportunity, over the years, to observe the inhumane conditions which relatives are made to endure just to have a few minutes with their loved ones at Arouca, while waiting their turn to actually get into the prison compound.
In times past, there was a shed, with no toilet facilities. The shed broke down due to lack of maintenance, and what has replaced it are two white canopy tents with one portable toilet. When it's raining, it is sad to see how these people have to huddle together to avoid getting wet.
The tents are furnished with two or three long benches with no back-rests. It is there that these people wait for hours before they are accommodated over the road for visiting time.
Just next-door to these tents, the Prisons Engineering Department is busy paving and fencing and securing proper facilities for a car park for staff. I have no problem with that, but please, Mr Commissioner, at least extend some courtesy to distressed relatives of prisoners and pave the muddy area that is allotted as a waiting area for them. Also construct a sturdy building or shed to protect these human beings from the elements while they exercise patience for their visits.