Terence Donaldson
My name is Terence Donaldson. I am from the United Kingdom and have just been released, serving three out of fours years in the prison - HMP Glendairy, Barbados where there was a riot and the prison burned down.

Ref: Protesting inmates wreak havoc
Thirteen hospitalized after Barbados jail fire

Lt. Col. John Nurse, the Superintendent of Prisons and Mr. David Broome, the Assistant Superintendent of Prisons are putting the foreign and local prisoners there through hell. Stripped of any freedom, they cannot even contact their families. Prisoners are beaten, sprayed with gas and shackled standing up for a week or longer at a time. I personally witnessed many abuses and saw people dragged off to the CONTAINERS which they brought into the complex to torture people in. I am happy to verify this information if need be.

My name is Terry Donaldson and this is my story.

I was a junky, had been for years. At the time of my recruitment I had been back on the stuff- crack cocaine and heroin- for a few years. Prior to my relapse, I had a 4 bedroom house, a wife, a Mercedes Benz 320, and a career in television. By the time the drugs had worn off, I was left with nothing, except debts totaling about 100 grand [$100,000] and an infection of hepatitis C. Then I was offered a trip abroad- to 'do a run'- to fly out to some place and bring back a suitcase full of cocaine. For this I was to be paid 5 grand [$5000]. Believe it or not, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Next thing I know I'm being held at Grantley Adams International Airport, Barbados, by about a dozen gargantuan types, a collection of police and customs officers. I must have seemed quite out of it- they seemed to think I wasn't all there.

Next day- court appearance. I was actually relieved when the magistrate, a Mrs. Marva Clarke handed me a 4 year sentence at Oistins Magistrates Court. It could have been a lot worse. If I hadn't been nearly doubled up with the pains from heroin withdrawal, I might even have danced a jig. The cops seemed pissed off that I got off lighter than a local man who'd been caught stealing bottles of mauby. His name was Williamson- a Rastaman- and he had just got a 5 year sentence.

I arrived at Glendairy Prison in a police minibus with its siren bleating. I passed through reception, watched as the stooges that were toe-ragging for the system ripped my towel in half. These were the motley collection of rapists that the system there made a point of turning into the so-called 'redbands'- the arch informants that ran around with little red bands on their sleeves and used their powers to try and bull the young male prisoners that they might be able to inveigle into drug-taking. Their activities were well-known by all the staff at Glendairy. The principle of institutionalized rape was always held over the heads of anyone that the system might want to strike down, or make an example of.

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  • Letter to Foreign Prisoner Support Service
    Letter to Foreign Prisoner Support Service From Terry Donaldson - 27 October 2005

    Dear Friend

    This takes some doing, actually going through the experiences that occurred since March 29th, this year [2005], when the prison erupted in violent and destructive protest. On that day a number of prisoners were brought before Mr. Carriington, one of the senior officers, on a disciplinary matter. One of the old lags- a man called Jones, had been 'bulling' i.e. sexually interfering with some of the much younger prisoners, offering food and drugs in exchange for sex.

    Two or three of those that he had interfered with attacked him in Mr. Carrington's new office. This was in a relatively unprotected area. There was no back-up from other prison officers in the event of an emergency.

    As Jones fought back, there was an eruption of about a dozen other prisoners, all of who wanted to kill him.

    This rapidly escalated into an outbreak of fires starting first in the back prison, then in the security area, and then in the front prison. There was a rush of prisoners down the extension prison (the farm), where, as the fires began to build and a cloud of smoke began to hang over the entire island of Barbados, we noticed a spy plane circling us above. Soldiers appeared and we were all led off to the central cage area by evening.

    The next day, in the absence of any food or water, we were forced to break out of this area and re-occupy the prison. Others used this as a pretext for continued burning, and in fact, this was when the bulk of the burnings took place.

    Three or so prisoners were killed at this time. Listed below are the details and I have used their prison names.

    1. Nook Nook, murdered by Straighfoot on the prompting of the officer in charge of the woodwork store, as he had caught Nook Nok attempting to burn it down.

    2. Serial, blasted by Byrne, with a shotgun, as the former was getting a drink of water from a tap.

    3. The others I can't say for sure. There were many injuries, also…………….we were rounded up again, and placed in a more secure set of cages at the back of the prison.

    For the next 3-4 days we were stuck there with only food and water occasionally thrown over the 12' wire perimeter by the guards. Discipline had by now broken down and it was every man for himself. The sun and the rain hit down upon us, it was a difficult time. Numerous stabbings and retaliatory measures took place. A lot of old scores were settled in this time of breakdown.

    After this time, we were transferred to a reinforced warehouse. Attempts were made by some leading prisoners- such as Brutal Bob, to establish order. These were partially successful. We were in the warehouses for some 2 weeks, while the authorities made up an old US naval base- St. Lucy- into a temporary prison capable of holding 900 prisoners. Conditions here were insufferable.

    For food, the prisoners were given only a small piece of bread roll in the morning, a scoop full of rice at midday + a half a small sardine, every day. There was virtually no change in diet, week in and week out. In the evening, we got a small roll again, with a scrape of peanut butter and tea. For sanitation prisoners had to piss and shit into 3 buckets for 30 men every day. Only two buckets were taken out, so sometimes it was hard for the men to hold themselves.

    Getting medical attention was and is still difficult at the whimsy of a moody bitch-like officer. You might or might not get a painkiller if you begged him hard enough. I was stuck for 3 months in the chicken pox centre, although I didn't have the disease. It was as if someone wanted me to catch it. Well they were to be disappointed, because I didn't!

    Any infraction of discipline, even a minor one, resulted in CS gas being sprayed indiscriminately into the room, even if there are asthmatics present. Those who dared to say something back to the guards were taken away to the specially -brought in containers; it resembled something out of Nazi Germany. They lined the prisoners up alongside each other, with little mini-doorways cut into the sides of the containers to accommodate the prisoners. You could hear people shouting and screaming inside as they begged for mercy. The guards beat people mercilessly then left them handcuffed upright for days on end. They had to sleep that way, shit and piss themselves like that, too.

    All this suffering in a place governed by those priding themselves as being part of a democratic state. 'The most advanced island in the Caribbean' they say. To me and the hundreds of other prisoners there, it was a living hell.

    Terry Donaldson. UK

    Tale of two prisons - Terrence Donaldson

    The Glendairy Prison on fire in Barbados
    A BRITON who spent three years imprisoned in Barbados has written a graphic and detailed account of his jail time at Glendairy and Harrison Point prisons, on a website associated with a support service for foreign prisoners.

    A BRITON who spent three years imprisoned in Barbados has written a graphic and detailed account of his jail time at Glendairy and Harrison Point prisons, on a website associated with a support service for foreign prisoners.

    Terrence George Donaldson, who was convicted on August 20, 2002 and sentenced to four years in prison for trafficking and attempting to export cocaine, was recently released from Harrison Point.

    Now back in his homeland, Donaldson reveals all about what he witnessed during his term behind bars in Barbados including drug dealing, homosexuality, the burning of Glendairy and the conditions at the temporary prison at Harrison Point.

    Today the WEEKEND NATION reproduces an edited version of his story.

    The website, which was established in 1995, is a volunteer prison advocacy service for families whose relatives are interned in a foreign country.

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