Saturday, June 09, 2007
The Jamaican Prison System is not unlike many in most 3rd World Countries. The dog in the street will probably get better treatment. Well, here we have a country try that many people live below the poverty level and since most of the money goes into education and sports, none is allotted to the jail systems. The consensus pretty much is "left dem feh dead."
The Old Jail in Saint Anns Bay is said to be the very first jail in Jamaica and many slaves died there. Prison conditions also posed a problem in Jamaica. The parliamentary ombudsman reported in 1986 that prison conditions had deteriorated further since 1984, when he had released a study detailing the deplorable facilities and degrading conditions. Overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, inadequate food, and limited medical care for inmates were the principal problems in the nation's two maximum security prisons and in its many police stations, where conditions were generally the worst. A Corrections Bill was introduced in Parliament in 1984 to cope with the problem, but little had resulted by the mid-1980s because of lack of funds for expanding prison facilities.
In 1986 Jamaica had eight correctional centers: the General Penitentiary, St. Catherine District Prison, South Camp Rehabilitation Centre (also known as the Gun Court prison), Fort Augusta, Tamarind Farm, New Broughton, and St. Jago Women's Centre. In 1986 these prisons had a total inmate population of 3,452 (rated capacity: 2,861). Female admissions increase stood at 129, a
10- percent increase over the 1985 figure. Approximately 32 percent (954) of the 1985 total were incarcerated for major offenses such as murder, robbery, and felonious wounding, and the rest for minor offenses such as larceny. Over 70 percent of those imprisoned were under the age of thirty, whereas 47 percent were twenty-four years or younger. The average age group for females ranged from thirty to thirty-nine, whereas males averaged twenty to twenty.
Tower Street General Penitentiary, South Camp, St Catherine's District Prison, were focused on in 2004 by the International Amnesty Group. A riot ensued which left many dead and injured, surrounding a proposal to distribute condoms throughout the jails.
Today, sadly not too much has changed when it comes to the prison system today. Homosexuality is still one of the most taboo things in Jamaica. Anyone suspect of that in the prison system is pretty much dead.