THE EDITOR, Sir:
I write in reference to the news article published on The Gleaner's website on September 20, 2013 with the caption, 'Lawyer says Vybz Kartel had permission to keep DVD player, iPod in jail'. This article is in relation to the recent seizure of items which include a DVD player, an Apple iPod, and two cell phones found in the cell occupied by Adijah Palmer, popularly known as Vybz Kartel.
I do not know about anyone else, but, for me, it is quite disturbing to know that there is a system in place to facilitate inmates in such a manner, especially those who are currently before the courts.
There are several questions that we need answers to. Is this privilege available to all inmates across the country? If not, why and what made Palmer more special than the rest of inmates? Based on the published copy of the permission document, item three states that "under normal circumstances no electrical unit is allowed". Is the confiscated DVD player one that was powered by AC electricity - a source from the Jamaica Public Service (JPS), or one that was battery operated? If it is the former or was in any way powered by electricity from JPS, then the approving superintendent needs to explain to Jamaica the extenuating situation that resulted in the approval of such item. How did the cell phones get inside the cell?
I do understand that everyone is innocent until proven guilty; however, crime remains an ugly monster that continues to plague us, and as such we should not in anyway make it feel comfortable and at home so that it can attack us later. In other words, there should not be any added comfort for inmates, since if added, will only encourage people to commit crimes. Furthermore, with the advancement in technology, a DVD can be a clever way for inmates to send and receive messages. We simply cannot afford to give anyone incentives to commit crime, and a privilege such as the above-mentioned is doing just that. I do hope the minister of national security is taking note and stands ready to take corrective action.
Ian J Blythe