Friday 21 September, 2018

Violent offenders causing problems at Dodds

(File Photo)

(File Photo)

A large set of offenders being remanded and sentenced to Her Majesty Prison (HMP) Dodds are presenting with violent tendencies and putting pressure on the prison system. 

Superintendent of Prisons, Lieutenant Colonel John Nurse revealed this information to the media during an interview at the island's lone penal institution today, March 16, 2018.  

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Nurse said there has been a significant increase in the number of young men coming to the prison, particularly those in the late teens to early twenties.  

"Once they come here we would have to identify what really led to them coming here and then develop programs that will suit them. It is going to be a challenge because each individual presents [with] a different problem and all of our rehabilitative programs focus on the individual. It is not a blanket approach." 

He said they are coming to the institution with a lot of pent-up anger and seeking an outlet for such.  

"Many of them are presenting with violent tendencies, so not only do you have to deal with the background issues, we also have to deal with their need to express themselves through violence and other types of disorders. 

"So when you have youngsters manifesting different types of problems we have to structure our programs to deal with each of these individuals and that is a Herculean task."  

Nurse said he also recognized a similar trend in the female population of the prison, in that more violent women are coming into the prison system.  

He said in the past the female inmates were usually sentenced for a range of offences, but recently females are being sentenced for more violent offences including assault and murder.  

Further to that, Nurse noted that in the past, the number of non-nationals far outnumbered the number of Barbadians but that has changed.  

"Whereas in 2001/2002 if we had 30 females, 25 or 26 of them were foreign nationals, now what I am seeing in 2018 is that our locals are increasing in number and the foreign nationals are going down."  

He made the comments after the reopening of a physical activity facility on the compound. In relation to the revived asset, he said he is grateful the newly refurbished gym will give the prison staff the opportunity to stay active so they can properly address the issues among the inmates.