Thu | Jan 17, 2019

No redemption after conviction?

Published:Tuesday | July 17, 2018 | 12:00 AM


I write this letter to you after just reading about the parliamentary proceedings that involved the current NESOL boss who was revealed to have been convicted of drug trafficking 25 years ago.

Mr Editor, I am unequivocally disgusted that politicians would have the gall to draw out the distant past of a currently serving civil servant and use it to as ammunition to seemingly advance what may be some political objective.

I am aware that there are many felons and former felons in Jamaica who have made mistakes, no matter how outrageous they were, and are now trying to make a better life for themselves and others who may be headed down a similar path. But they are being hampered by a society that seems to hold very strong prejudices against ex-felons.

How can we, as reasonable, well-thinking, kind-hearted, and respectful people, allow these persons who have fallen aside to be punished even well beyond the prison term because of ONE past violation? Wasn't the point

of imprisonment to issue punishment? To have persons pay their debt to society, reform them, and make them productive members of society?

Are we not supposed to be aiding and uplifting those who have fallen, rather than condemn them in perpetuity?

While I do agree that the information needed to be disclosed, let me remind persons that having so much as one felon could destroy one's track record FOR LIFE. Don't these people deserve a chance to move forward and get back on track?

Let's not send the message that there is no redemption after prison, or, as in the NESOL boss' case, a suspended sentence, because in the end it will only hurt this country more.