• Today
    February 25

  • 09:32 PM

Prison revolving door

RANDY BENNETT, randybennett@ nationnews.com

Added 13 October 2017


Her Majesty’s Prisons, Dodds, St Philip.

Most of the inmates at HMP Dodds are familiar with the steel bars and concrete walls at the St Philip prison.

And the high level of repeat offenders has one criminologist questioning whether the prison system is working.

A recent study by the Criminal Justice Research and Planning Unit (CJRPU) has revealed that more than half of the prisoners interviewed had been previously incarcerated.

In the study, which was carried out six months ago, 438 of the prison’s 900-plus inmates were questioned. Of that number, 236 admitted that they had been imprisoned for offences other than the ones for which they were serving time.

Shockingly, 37 per cent or 162 inmates disclosed that they were on bail prior to being arrested for that offence.

These statistics were revealed by senior research officer at the unit, Kim Ramsay, during yesterday’s final day of the National Consultation on Violence at the Gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.

In presenting A Profile of HMP Dodds Prison, Ramsay said what was also extremely worrisome was the fact that just under 70 per cent of the prisoners interviewed were between the ages of 20 and 40; 43 per cent were aged 20 to 30, and 23 per cent of young male prisoners were under the age of 18 when they recorded their first conviction.

Ramsay said another interesting statistic was that 70 per cent of inmates interviewed had only been educated as far as secondary school, with 63 per cent either dropping out or being expelled from secondary school.

She added that most of the women incarcerated were non-Barbadians, mostly Jamaicans and Guyanese.

For more details on this story, pick up your copy of the WEEKEND NATION or log on to our e-paper.


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