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Give former offenders a second chance, AG says

Minister of Home Affairs and Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite has urged Barbadians to give former prison inmates a second chance as they attempt to reintegrate into society.

During his address at the decommissioning ceremony of Her Majesty’s Prison Glendairy on Saturday, Brathwaite lamented that offenders were hardly accepted by their families and often turned away by businesses in their search for employment.

 

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“The acceptance by their families is usually too short lived. They are all welcoming for the first couple of weeks and then they are being told why don’t you go and find a job . . . and when they go out into the work force they are being told we cannot hire you because you have a criminal conviction”.

Brathwaite warned that the lack of acceptance was among factors contributing to a high rate of recidivism.

“I can only stress and I can only beg and plead with you, that if we don’t not give them a second chance then prison becomes more of a revolving door,” said Brathwaite.

He admitted that the country was working to contain increasing recidivism but stressed that it could only be lowered with the cooperation of the public.

“The truth is that we’re not doing as we would like to do, because we always aim to do better but we can only do better if we have the cooperation of you the public. We need to ensure that when the young man applies for a job in Barbados and he says that he has a criminal record that you don’t automatically close your doors to him, Brathwaite said.

 

6 Responses to Give former offenders a second chance, AG says

  1. Hal Austin October 30, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    The first thing is dignity in office and the attorney general must dress the part.
    I know some young people think it is modern to dress as if they are cutting canes, but it is the message they send that is important.
    More important the AG recognises the root cause of recidivism. H|e has the power to do something about it: in terms of rehabilitation, reform the current legislation so that if someone has not re-offended within a set time the offence is automatically wiped off the books, rather than the present system of having to apply with references; make it illegal to decline a job offer with no relevance to the crime committed by the offender; cut out so-called police character references, let employers do their own due diligence; make sure when people leave prison, especially after long sentences, that they have a home, job and pocket money.

    Reply
  2. Alex Alleyne October 30, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Just a few days ago I said the same of Sealy and the Port guy about their dress ,meeting the head of the ship on its first visit to BIM. (There is a ‘place and time” for such.) Don’t see the same persons who claimed that i back in the dark ages , jumping all over you.
    Just to let all know ,i shook off the shackles long time.
    FORCES OF VICTORY.

    Reply
  3. Crime Prevention is Key October 31, 2016 at 7:22 am

    First of all I commend the efforts of the Royal Barbados Police Force who work 24/7 to protect the law abiding citizens of Barbados.
    Secondly with regards to re-offending we can not wait until the last days of the inmate release to wish him well and send him off into society. There are the partnerships of private business can be formed and this can be done prior to the release of the inmate. For example why no review inmates with special skills and try to get them job attachments 3 – 6 months before release from prison and as there has been discussions about the use of electronic monitoring let the inmate be supervised through this technology to ensure reporting to work, they remain under curfew and report for any other designated classes set forth by the authorities.
    Surely this can help in reintegration of inmates by ensuring they follow the necessary guidelines and can be a vital tool to the Royal Barbados Police Force as most of the recent criminal violence have been committed by persons known to law enforcement.
    Everything is about cost which we must remain mindful but I have been fortunate to see these type of initiatives bear fruit for example inmates families pay a percentage of the monitoring fees to be released early and with regards to legislation there is a “Ministerial Drecree” that can be used by the Minister to fast track the use of such technology to aid in the supervision of inmates, use for persons on bail, sex offenders, etc.. to reduce crime as a national security initiative.
    We speak about socialization and seem to be speaking in circles but do not get me wrong it plays a major role which form the foundation for every child but with more delinquent parents we can not expect government to enter homes to do what we the parents must do to ensure our kids are law abiding.
    I believe electronic morning along with the use of other programs can be successfully used in Barbados to address crime and re-offending and provide law enforcement agencies with a vital tool.

    Reply
  4. Hal Austin October 31, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Crime prevention,

    Good idea.

    Reply
  5. lennox hewitt October 31, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Now f there family n giving dum a second chance y should i ? u keep talking dis samething all d time but u still n giving dum u only talking cause talk cheap i wan no u would leave a man dat went prison for robbery or rape home by u wid u female family ? No u would not so don’t come wid second chance when u no not u .

    Reply
  6. lennox hewitt October 31, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Few month ago a man had a second chance where he is now ? So he make it harder now for any second chance.

    Reply

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