The way I see it, PRISON IS NOT A PLACE THAT ONE SHOULD PLAN TO BE.
As part of the youth month activities, I was part of a delegation, earlier this week that had the rare opportunity to visit the Prison headquarters in St.Kitts. The infamous 1840. The delegation was led by Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams.
Now because of church related activities, I have had the opportunity to regularly visit at the Nevis Prison Farm-Russell’s Rest but the headquarters is a far different environment.
I felt intimidated even as the Hon. Minister and her delegation spoke to some of the inmates or as Supt Hodge insisted, ‘RESIDENTS,’ on issues such as positive lifestyle changes and entrepreneurship, among other topics.
I listened to the concerted pleas of some of the residents who pleaded for society to give them a second chance at getting legitimate jobs when they are released and to remove the stigma that is so readily attached to someone who had to make their bed at the place, even for a short time.
I listened as Supt Hodge explain that the facility was originally built to house 60 residents but indicated that the current population has extended to 187—182 men and 5 women.
Well I newa!
I listened to the poetic genius of resident Everette Allen who made a passionate appeal to youths and others who may want to get involved in deviant behaviour, for them to STAY OUT OF PRISON!
“When you come here, you get bread and peanut butter; you are told when to sleep; when to wake up; when to bathe…don’t get involved in gangs and avoid violence he pleaded. Don’t be another Everette Allen.’
I also listened to his ominous warning to the rest of us in society. Basically he was saying that when prisoners are released and they are refused jobs and not given a second chance, they would just have ‘to do what they have to do, in order to survive. Everybody will get hurt,’ he warned.
At the end, the well loved prison band entertained the minister and her delegation but the experience was a heart rending one for me.
Young people and older ones, prison is not a place to aspire to be. Let’s strive to our utmost to walk the strait and narrow road.
Let us live upright lives in accordance with God’s word and avoid all that we can avoid and stay out of trouble.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?