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94% Of Prison Wardens Sign Petition Calling For Alex Dalli’s Return To The Helm

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An absolute majority of prison wardens have signed a petition calling for the reinstatement of Alex Dalli as director.

The union for disciplined forces within the General Workers’ Union confirmed today that it has received a petition signed by 390 correctional officers, amounting to 94% of all wardens.

“We understand that workers want to publicly acknowledge the great amount of progress that took place under Col. Dalli’s leadership, with the Agency for Correctional Services now having clear structures, order and enough resources for workers to work efficiently while rehabilitating the prisoners as much as possible,” the union said.

It added that before Dalli took over three and a half years ago, correctional officers and their families had to “suffer in silence as a result of intimidation and the lack of structures and tools to work with”.

“Not many people spoke for them in public,” the union said.

It hailed Dalli for “turning the page” in his three and a half years in charge of the prison, transforming the prison into a place where drugs and violence “were the order of the day” into a place where drugs and violence were practically non-existent.

An “unprecedented” level of infrastructural work took place under Dalli’s watch, including the construction of a state-of-the-art medical centre and the upgrading of long-abandoned prison cells.

Meanwhile, 25 professionals –  including doctors, psychiatrists, dentists, psychologists and nurses – were hired, and the union and prison agency recently managed to negotiate the first ever collective agreement for correctional officers.

“The union will work with the administration chosen for the agency to ensure that Kordin doesn’t regress to its earlier state and to keep building on all the good work that has been done in recent years.”

“We have no doubt that the workers are ready to do their bit, and we encourage everyone with a position of influence in society to understand and acknowledge the particular environment they work in.”

“Sensationalism and non-factual comments, sometimes instigated by those who are against order and discipline, don’t help the workers, nor do they help the facility create a necessary rehabilitation environment.”

Dalli suspended himself last week after the 14th death in prison under his watch, and has since been replaced by Red Cross head Robert Brincau.

A former search and rescue pilot, Dalli has been praised for instilling a sense of discipline and purpose within Kordin and for seriously clamping down on drugs, which he has described as “the root of all evil”.

However, he has also been accused of subjecting prisoners to cruel and unusual forms of punishment and instilling a culture of fear within Kordin.

Following the deaths of several prisoners within its walls, an internal inquiry was launched into prison practices, while two prison guards were recently charged with the involuntary homicide of inmate Kim Borg Nicolas Virtu.

A separate petition calling for Dalli’s reinstatement is circulating among prisoners, and a number of prisoners have also staged a hunger strike to call for the director’s return. 

Cover Photo: GWU – Disciplined Forces, Security & Law Enforcement Officers Section

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Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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