Prison director Alex Dalli is currently undertaking several maneuvers within the walls of the Corradino Correctional Facility in order to win favour with inmates and wardens as the police investigate his running of the facility, wardens working with him have said.
For months now, Dalli and the prison’s administration have faced accusations of inhumane treatment of inmates in a prison that employs fear and cruelty in order to keep prisoners in check.
Dalli has been accused of using a punishment chair on unruly inmates and was recently reported by Illum to have placed a gun in one man’s mouth, telling him that he would “drop this on you” if he did not behave.
The prison director filed defamation proceedings against the paper, as well as the source of the story, former prisoner Emmanuel Cassar, over the claims.
Despite the accusations against him, and the high number of prison deaths in recent years, Home Affairs minister Byron Camilleri has stood by Dalli and so far resisted calls for his removal.
The paper reported last week that a police investigation had been launched over the claims, with sources now reporting that Dalli and his entourage were trying to curry favour with wardens by doing them favours, ranging from small gestures to promotions.
Inmates were also benefiting from the change in approach, Illum reported, with some being allowed to have more frequent visits. Others were given more jobs to make some money on the side.
One warden who spoke with the newspaper recounted how those who were not on Dalli’s side were sidelined and had their life made into hell in the hope that they would leave or fall in line.
The warden said that while Dalli had done considerable good, including in cleaning the prison of drugs, he had gone to too many extremes.
What do you make of Dalli’s mode of operations?