DOC suspends halfway-house programs

According to an anonymous letter, DOC Director Samantha Brennan "has no trust in any of the employees of this Department other than a certain few who are advising her."

The Department of Corrections has suspended certain programs and privileges at its halfway-house facility in the wake of the recent escape of two inmates who have since been placed back in custody.

In an interview with the Patti Arroyo show on NewsTalk K57, DOC director Samantha Brennan said some programs in the half-way house remain suspended because of the ongoing investigation.

“The investigation is ongoing in the escape. So we suspended some of the half-way house programs. We’ll reinstate their privileges in a couple of weeks,” Brennan said.

Among those affected are those in the study program with courses at Guam Community College.

“We’ve reached out to GCC and asked them to provide our inmates with homework until we can reinstate the education program in, hopefully, two weeks. We’re not canceling it and I don’t want them to withdraw from the education program so we’re working closely with GCC on this,” Brennan said.

Work releases and work credits have also been temporarily suspended.

When the escape happened, the whole compound was placed on lockdown. That has since been canceled but Brennan said Post 9 will continue to be on lockdown because of the investigation.

A fence has also been erected around the half-way house. Brennan said this is for the safety of not just the inmates themselves but also the public so that the incident doesn’t happen again and there would be stricter controls. The fence doesn’t have razor wire.

“Because of the incident that happened, I’m taking all precautions to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I understand it is a half-way house, but at the same time, we want to be able to ensure that there’s no room for mistakes in the future. We just want everybody to understand that what we’re doing is for the safety and security of everybody,” Brennan said.

Unfortunately, Brennan said a beloved mango tree had to be cut down during the construction of the fence because it could be used as a means for escape.