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MAVIS BECKLES: Put prisoners tuh work


MAVIS BECKLES: Put prisoners tuh work

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EVAH SINGLE TIME ya open the newspapers, ya could see somebody, another young man, getting sent up tuh prison. Now, tuh do what?

Okay yes, it is a punishment fuh some kinda crime dat they would have committed and dat punishment means taking away duh privileges tuh be free tuh walk bout as duh like and do the things dat law abiding citizens do. So, ya lock dem up and put dem away fuh a period of time, in the hope dat it would teach dem a lesson; dat they would learn from it and they would come back out as better human beings at the end of their stay at Dodds.

Well, maybe a few of dem do, but the majority of dem like duh does decide dat dem ain’t care who say crime does not pay; dem prefer tuh walk this way and not a soul or nuh prison, nuh lock up or lock down gine stop dem from getting caught up again wid the same bad company dat caused dem tuh end up in prison in the first place. So after a couple o’ months or maybe years, you would see dem outta prison and back before the courts, then in prison again.

Repeat offenders ya does call dem? Well, dat is what it is: they keep pon the same path all the time and then ya does call dem criminals. Some o’ dem are still very young men wid more convictions than duh own age.

So ya minding the people from Amnesty and dem kinda foreign people so and playing you ain’t hanging nuhbody even fuh the most vicious, blatant crimes. Then ya refuse tuh hire anybody at all tuh throw some hot lashes in the criminals backsides wid the cat-o-nine tails. Rather, ya would keep dem up at Dodds fuh months and years. Then, ya does clothe dem, gi’ duh somewhere tuh sleep, a bath when the days come and feed dem evah single day. Now fuh all o’ this, duh doan drive a stroke and duh doan do nutten.

Why it is dat ya cahn bring dem out when the days come wid the chains on pon duh two foot if you think duh gine try tuh run away and then put dem tuh work in the fields. Give dem a hoe, a collins, weed whackers, lawn movers, all dem kinda tools so.

Ya’all think dat Barbados have any right wid the lot o’ bush dat ya seeing all ovah the place year in and year out? You think the ministry should be wasting money all the time sending out people in a truck when the evening come, saying dem fogging tuh get rid o’ mosquitoes?

You think dat we should have tuh employ people tuh clean up all o’ dah Sargassum seaweed off the beaches when duh got ovah six or so hundred young strong men just sitting down up there in Dodds Prison doing nutten when the day come?

Look, big, strong young men who could work decide dat dem ain’t doing nothing and would sit down evah single day pon a block talking all kinds o’ junk, wasting duh lives and the first thing they would tell you is dat duh cahn get nuh wuk. Next thing ya know, ya does miss one or two o’ dem for a couple o’ months and ya know where duh does be? In prison.

Now, tell me something: if duh say dat duh cahn get nuh wuk, it means dat duh want tuh work, so stop babying dem and give dem what they want. While duh in prison, put dem tuh work evah single day and stop wasting good time and the taxpayers’ money. They want tuh work.

• Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.