Prisoners should be given productive labour
Stabroek News
April 26, 2002

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Dear Editor,

Presently the prison on Camp Street is overcrowded with prisoners. It was built to hold about three hundred prisoners but now houses about one thousand prisoners. Some prisoners are serving long term sentences, some on short term while some are on remand awaiting trial.

Having prisoners locked up in jail and doing nothing while the government has to use taxpayers monies to feed and clothe them, some for their lifetime, does not make sense.

While prisoners have to serve their sentences, so as to pay for their crimes the government can use these resources. Prisoners can rear goats, sheep, pigs, chickens and cows on a large scale if the facilities are provided.

If the government provides land, farming can be done on the land. Prisoners can plant rice on a large scale, grow vegetables and ground provisions which can be used for their consumption and the excess sold so as to maintain the prisons and give them an income.

Prisoners can be taught to become tailors, masons, electricians, plumbers, cobblers and carpenters so when they come out of jail they have skills which they can use to earn a living.

Those prisoners who are serving short sentences such as three months or so can be utilised to clean up the city of garbage, clean drains, weed parapets etc. The government will gain.

Come on Minister of Home Affairs start doing something. Do not let these human resources go to waste.

Yours faithfully,

Baldeo Persaud