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Make convicts pay ‘rent’

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Make convicts pay ‘rent’

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Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police, Erwin Boyce, has suggested that a system be instituted in Barbados through the law courts compelling convicted criminals to pay a boarding fee for their stay at Her Majesty’s Prisons Dodds.

And if criminals could not pay the daily $2 or $3 fee, then the onus should be placed on their families to pay up, he said.

Addressing an open meeting hosted by the Men’s Educational Support Association (MESA) at The St Michael School on Wednesday night, Boyce said that with the high number of repeat offenders and first-time offenders, the Police Force was of the belief that the current sentencing structure was not a deterrent for many individuals.

Highlighting his recent trip to Florida where he witnessed a similar penal system in existence, the senior lawman suggested that the boarding fee system appeared to be working.

“To me that is an idea for consideration. We are always talking about family. When something happens we hear how good a person was, and when persons are arrested you see a long line of persons behind them at court giving them the necessary support that is required. Perhaps we need to charge $2 or $3 for every day you stay in prison.

“One of the things that we preach in the office daily is ‘crime must not pay’. We must take away the assets of crime. You should not benefit from crime – long term, short term, or medium term,” Boyce said. (SDB Media)