This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Report on Prison Conditions in Jamaica


chief among them the ability to spend more time outside one’s cell and being able to avoid afternoon lockdown. However, the schemes are vastly oversubscribed, as one would imagine, with only around 30 inmates from a population of about 1300 being able to participate.


Relations between prison staff and inmates who were able to work seemed more relaxed than elsewhere in the institutions. Correctional officers in particular seemed proud of the standard of work that was being produced, and at the positive outlook of the prisoners involved. Nearly all the officers lamented a lack of available resources, and their reliance on old and broken machinery. All emphasised that they would welcome the chance to involve more prisoners in the schemes if they could.


Working Parties


Rule 71 of the SMR states that ‘All prisoners under sentence shall be required to work, subject to their physical and mental fitness as determined by the medical officer’, although the rules also provide the caveat that ‘Prison labour must not be of an afflictive nature’; Rule 71(3) further provides that ‘Sufficient work of a useful nature shall be provided to keep prisoners actively employed for a normal working day.’ Te 2006 European Prison Rules echo this emphasis on positive work. Te emphasis on meaningful employment and activity in the international standards is in general accordance with the vision and mission statements of the Jamaican Department of Correctional Services.


In fact, the vast majority of inmates in Jamaica’s maximum security penal institutions are legally mandated to work while incarcerated. At the time of the visits, 1019 of the 1285 inmates at SCACC, and 1009 of the 1663 inmates at TSACC were serving their sentences at ‘hard labour’. Like so much of the island’s penal system, the wording of the sentence provides a reminder of Jamaica’s colonial inheritance. Te sentence of ‘hard labour’ was abolished in England and Wales by the 1948 Criminal Justice Act, yet it remains on the Jamaican statute books well into the 21st


century. Te sentence can of


course be criticised on a number of levels: it is outdated, and potentially inhuman and degrading in its operation. However, it also means that there is a binding legal obligation on Correctional Services to involve prisoners in daily vocational activity.


Section 32 of the Corrections Act states that an inmate shall ‘do such work as may be assigned to him by the Superintendent of such centre or as may be prescribed in Correctional Institution Rules’. Section 33 permits inmates to work outside the institution with the approval of the Commissioner of Corrections. Rule 153(1) of the prison rules states mandatorily:


40


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68
Produced with Yudu - www.yudu.com