July 18, 2006 — A inmate of the Golden Grove Correctional Facility, accused of stabbing a corrections officer during a recent security crackdown, is the subject of a special investigation now under way by the V.I. Justice Department.
According to Attorney General Kerry Drue and Corrections Bureau Territorial Warden Alcedos Lettsome, an unidentified guard was stabbed by an inmate wielding a homemade knife — known as a shank — on July 13, the first day of a two-day operation undertaken by prison guards, police and members of the V.I. National Guard.
"A inmate had a shank on him and assaulted the corrections officer. Several other officers restrained that inmate. We have retrieved the shank from that inmate," Drue said Monday.
The guard was treated for minor injuries as a result of the alleged assault, the attorney general said.
Six shanks and a homemade machete were confiscated during the two-day sweep, along with an undisclosed number of cellular telephones and bags of marijuana.
The inmate accused of the stabbing has been identified as Johnny Kidd. According to Corrections officials, Kidd is serving time at Golden Grove, following a conviction for a carjacking in the late 1990s.
Both Drue and Lettsome said security sweeps like the one that took place last week are done randomly as a matter of course. But the warden said prison officials approached the attorney general for consent to conduct this sweep because they saw signs that trouble was brewing.
"An incident had occurred in the facility that needed to be addressed," Lettsome said, adding that Drue gave the go-ahead after being apprised of the situation.
This operation was also different because a personnel shortage at Corrections led to a call for assistance from the National Guard. "We called in the Virgin Islands National Guard, the Virgin Islands Police Department as well as the St. Thomas Bureau of Corrections Special Operations Recovery Team and special assignment officers from Golden Grove to assist," Drue said.
A follow-up is now being conducted by the Special Investigations Division at Justice to look at the outcome of the sweep. Any disciplinary measures to arise from that operation are pending the results of that investigation.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.