Amnesty International – Jamaica

Press release_Death penalty

The Reintegration of Prisoners within the Jamaican Society by George Young


The Jamaican Chapter of Amnesty International is currently establishing a library at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Facility, formerly known as the General Penitentiary, to boost our current literacy classes at the above mentioned facility as education is an integral component for the reintegration of prisoners into the wider society.

Along with this initiative we are calling for the living conditions of the Tower Street Adult Correctional Facility to be improved, for example, the maximum inmates to a cell must not be more than three and a residential nurse.

These measures are being implemented and lobbied for as they help to create a mindset within the inmates that society still cares for and are aware of their human rights, these measures will greatly help to break down the barriers that prevent inmates from being reintegrated within the wider society upon completion of their sentences.

An educated or better educated inmate will greatly improved upon his chances of being employed or in becoming self-employed, this will help to stem the stigma and discrimination attached to inmates “that once a criminal always a criminal”. Hence the former convict will have improved upon his self-esteem and thus greatly reducing the scope of him becoming a repeat offender or from returning to prison for those who have been convicted more than once.

Health care in the form of a residential nurse will allow inmates to get the requisite medical attention when necessary, twenty-four hours per day as this basic human right when being denied is tantamount to torture. This is so as too often basic medical complaints by inmates are not met, basic complaints such as diarrhea; which can lead to inmates fighting as overcrowded prison cells and the lack of flushing toilets in these cells (inmates have to relieve themselves in buckets and boxes) are prime reasons to start a fight when an inmate is not treated for diarrhea.
Amnesty calls for these conditions to be addressed as prisoners are sent to correctional facilities for rehabilitation and not humiliation, for reflection and not dehumanization, therefore the necessary steps must be taken to ensure that they are given the opportunity to return to the wider society as a nation builder – a father, a brother, an uncle or a guardian as they are critical to the goals and desires of Jamaica an Jamaicans!

The Jamaican society and humanity will greatly benefit by the reduction of crime and the promotion of human rights hence we solicit your assistance in donating books to this noble initiative. I can be contacted at 948-8973 (w) or 356-0343 (cel).