Prisons Commissioner Dennis Pulchan removes the covering over the sign indicating that Building 13 at the MSP has been renamed "Wayne Jackson Building", in honour of the late Acting Superintendent, who was murdered in 2018. (Image courtesy T&T Prison Service)
RHONDOR DOWLAT-ROSTANT

Two major achievements were revealed in the T&T Prison Service on Friday with the renaming of Building 13 at the Maximum Security Prison to honour the slain prison officer Wayne Jackson, and the unveiling of the Commissioners’ Wall at the Prison’s Training College.

On Friday, the Commissioners’ Wall was unveiled at the Prisons Training College, in a brief ceremony hosted by newly confirmed Commissioner of Prisons, Dennis Pulchan.

The Commissioners’ Wall is intended to induct confirmed Commissioners of Prisons, Deputy Commissioners of Prisons and Assistant Commissioners of Prisons, highlighting the individuals who have piloted the Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service.

A total of 40 photographs were unveiled displaying individuals from 1947 to the present, and photographs will be added upon retirement of the Heads, indicating their rank and tenure of service.

Commissioner Pulchan said that he was delighted with the initiative to preserve the history of the individuals who piloted the Service, “as they can serve as visible inspirations with rich historical backgrounds, to persons entering the Prisons Training College seeking a career.”

The Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service also advised that Building 13 has been renamed the Wayne Jackson Building, in honour of Acting Superintendent Wayne Jackson, who was slain in 2018.

The choice to rename the building came following the Prison Executive’s decision to re-purpose the building to reflect Jackson’s beliefs and visions relative to the fair and humane treatment of offenders.

Commissioner Pulchan hailed Jackson as a hero and an inspiration to all.

“Wayne Jackson’s legacy of being resilient, fair and just in his actions must always be remembered,” the Prison Service boss stated.

Present at the building’s recommissioning were members of the Prison Executive, senior officials from the Maximum Security Prison and Jackson’ s widow, Cheryl Jackson, who was given the honour of cutting the ribbon during the brief ceremony.

The slaying of Wayne Jackson

On October 1st, 2018, 50-year-old Acting Superintendent of Prisons Wayne Jackson, who was assigned the Maximum Security Prison, was shot repeatedly as he arrived at his home in Malabar, shortly after 6:30 pm.

Jackson served for over 30 years in the T&T Prisons Service and there was an outpouring of grief and demand for justice on social media as news spread of his killing.

Investigators said Jackson had just pulled up in his driveway when two gunmen ambushed him and shot him dead. He lived a stone’s throw away from the Larry Gomes Stadium.

A senior prison officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in 2018, said Jackson was not well appreciated among the prison population.

Asked why, the officer replied at the time:

“Well…you know at the MSP is a very hard and tough prison and he was a no-nonsense kind of officer…you know how things are.”

However, another prisons source, who also wished not to be identified, said it is believed that Jackson was killed following an incident that transpired over that weekend during a sporting event that took place in the gym area at MSP.

The source claimed that there was a futsal game in the gym area and apparently there was a confrontation with Jackson and relatives of inmates.