Mon | Sep 21, 2020

Prison, or luxury suite?

Published:Sunday | December 9, 2018 | 12:00 AM



Like many Jamaicans, I welcome the release of international recording artiste Buju Banton.

While being exceedingly happy for his return home after being incarcerated in the United States, his stay in that country's prison system brings sharply into focus the mockery we have here in Jamaica.

While being held there, but for the odd story about his stay and expected arrival, precious little was heard from Buju.

Not so of another recording artiste, Vybz Kartel, convicted of murder and imprisoned here.

Indeed, Vybz Kartel, via a plethora of songs, not only dominates our airwaves and music charts but has been nominated for several awards since his 2011 incarceration.

How is this possible?

There was a futile attempt to stem the tide of his flood of recordings with his removal from one detention area to another.

Yet, the flood of recordings continued, this while Kartel earns hundreds of thousands of dollars (at a reputed US$1,000 per dub-plate/special) while succeeding in making our security and prison systems look like a joke.

What is the message we are sending to our youngsters?

That if you are talented and commit murder you can enjoy popularity and earn big bucks from behind bars?

To be fair, it didn't begin with Kartel. Remember Jah Cure?

However, he was nowhere nearly as prolific recording from Behind These Prison Walls.

It's time the minister of justice and head of the prison system wipe the egg from their faces, if they can, and ACT!