Sun | Sep 24, 2017

JFJ says Jamaica should accept Britain's prison deal

Published:Tuesday | October 20, 2015 | 10:23 PM

Rights group Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) says Jamaica should accept the United Kingdom's offer to help build a prison here.

The Jamaican government has been criticised for appearing to want to accept the proposed deal which comes with several conditions including allowing Jamaicans serving time in British jails to finish their sentences in Jamaica.

However, in a statement today, JFJ argues that the current prison buildings in Kingston and St Catherine are dungeons.

It points to what it calls abominable treatment of prisoners by some warders and successive governments.

The group says the proposed new prison should be able to accommodate almost 70 per cent of local prisoners reportedly on short to medium term sentences.

However, the group says it is unhappy with what it sees as British Prime Minister David Cameron’s use of a gift to deflect Jamaica’s demand for reparation for slavery.

It says no gift must be allowed to stop Jamaica’s demand for reparation.

Jamaica says a non-binding agreement has been signed to allow for further negotiations on the proposed £30.5 million deal.

The Jamaican Government is now using diplomatic channels to seek to get the UK to change its statement that a firm agreement has been signed to transfer prisoners to Jamaica.