Sun | Feb 25, 2018

Letter of the Day | Denham Town police cold, callous

Published:Friday | September 23, 2016 | 12:00 AM


On Wednesday, persons turned up at the Denham Town Police Station with food and toiletries for their loved ones incarcerated at that facility. This is when they were told - quite dismissively - that nothing would be taken from them that day.

To the casual observer, this might appear to be a minor inconvenience. For many of the persons involved, it's not just incredibly frustrating, but extremely costly.

Many of the incarcerated persons were the sole breadwinner - not just for their children - but for siblings and parents. Incarceration left these persons with a multitude of challenges, including housing, educational, financial and mental health problems.

Prepare for this visit requires days of begging and borrowing. For, as far back as I can remember, whenever there is displeasure with even one inmate, the others are made to suffer. Denial of food is just one way of inflicting unauthorised punishment. This is against the background that conditions in our prisons are generally not fit for humans. Very little is provided.

An assistant superintendent of police tried to explain to claimed that the prisoners were to be moved that day and he feared security would be compromised. This Anancy story can be safely ignored. Why, may I ask, was it necessary to carry out that operation on a visitors day? I would imagine that the basics of scheduling and organisation would be taught long before one becomes a superintendent.




Ignoring critical needs of our incarcerated brothers and sisters and treating their loved ones in this way reveals the contempt we have for each other. This contempt has a lot to do with the self hatred that exists among us.

Would it require some special training to teach senior police personnel that persons visiting these facilities with critical supplies and food be given special priority and that they be notified through public media, well in advance, when special circumstances make it impossible for them to be accommodated an a particular day?

Good Lord! The behaviour of the Denham Town police, in this matter, is cold, callous, cruel and just downright shameful.


Stony Hill, St Andrew