Golden Grove inmate critical after stabbing Prison remains on lockdown


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ST. CROIX - A stabbing Saturday morning at Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facility left one inmate critically wounded.

Owen Browne suffered lacerations to the abdomen that required immediate surgery, and remains in critical condition at Luis Hospital, according to a statement Corrections released.

The release quoted Donald Redwood, the acting warden for Golden Grove, saying that the stabbing happened in front of the I/J unit at approximately 9 a.m. A suspect in the assault, Jamal Fahie, "has been isolated in security control," the release said.

Police and Corrections are investigating the assault. Golden Grove is on lockdown until further notice, according to the release.

Fahie, who is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder for a November 2011 shooting on Bunker Hill on St. Thomas, has stabbed a fellow inmate before. In February 2013, he accepted a plea deal that consolidated several pending cases, including the inmate stabbing.

Saturday's stabbing at Golden Grove was the second high-profile incident at the facility in less than two weeks.

In the early hours of May 12, prison staff discovered that inmate Rafael Joseph had escaped after a woman reported to police that Joseph had raped her and police contacted the prison inquiring about Joseph's whereabouts.

He had last been seen at a headcount the evening before.

Joseph was recaptured without further incident around noon on May 12.

Two days later, Government House announced that warden Basil Richards had resigned, although officials said the resignation had already been in the works and was not related to the escape.

Conditions at the prison violate the ban on cruel and unusual punishment contained in the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Although the territory has been under court orders for more than 27 years to improve things at the prison to meet constitutional standards, the territory has so far failed to do so.

The U.S. Justice Department and the independent monitor hired to assess how well the Corrections Bureau is doing implementing the court orders have warned that major security lapses at Golden Grove have a potential impact on safety both inside and outside of the prison.

The statement from Corrections about Saturday's stabbing says that because of the lockdown, all scheduled visits have been suspended. Critical services - food service, medical and mental health assessments, prescription dispensing, as well as any medical visits off property, attorney visits and court appearances - will continue as normal, according to the statement.

"I would like to assure the public that the facility is operating within all security guidelines and protocols to safeguard both the prison population and BOC personnel," Redwood said in the prepared statement.

Browne is serving a five-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter, according to the release.

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