Efforts to end “human rights violations” in St Helena’s overcrowded prison have been frustrated by executive councillors’ refusal to consider plans for a new gaol at Half Tree Hollow.
It is thought the acting governor, Owen O’Sullivan, might exercise his right to approve the plans himself, because conditions in HMP Jamestown are so bad.
Any delay is unlikely to affect the ten current inmates in the prison, which has just three cells. Their sentences will end before work on converting Sundale House was due to be completed.
It is not clear whether the councillor’s inaction will hold up conversion work. It was hoped it could be completed in 2014, a year earlier than expected.
The five-strong council argued that it had been told it could not make major policy decisions during an election period, under “purdah” rules imposed by Governor Mark Capes before he left the island on leave.
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