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Reject £25 million prison money, PNPYO tells government

Published:Wednesday | September 30, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The People’s National Party Youth Organisation (PNPYO) is urging the Government to reject the offer of £25 million from British Prime Minister David Cameron for the construction of a prison in Jamaica.

The facility is to house up to 300 Jamaicans now in British prisons under a transfer deal to complete their sentences here.

It will also house Jamaicans incarcerated at the Tower Street and St Catherine Adult Correctional facilities. 

The PNPYO says the proposed £25 million represents only 40 per cent of the projected cost of the facility, and the Government and people of Jamaica would be expected to provide the additional 60 per cent or about $6.75 billion.

It noted that even if the proposal was for the UK to provide the full economic cost for the construction of this facility, the Government should still reject the proposal as the maintenance cost would still be exorbitant.

In said in addition to the direct expenses for construction and maintenance there are significant socio-economic costs for reintegrating deported Jamaicans in society after they have served their sentences.

Britain projects that if accepted the prison proposal will save its taxpayers an estimated £10 million per year when the transfer of inmates commences in 2020.

"These attendant costs will therefore be transferred to the taxpayers of Jamaica. If it is that the British authorities are insistent that the convicted Jamaicans serve the full extent of their sentences for whatever crimes they committed in the UK, we consider it the responsibility of the UK authorities, and reject any proposal which seeks to transfer this responsibility to Jamaica and the Jamaican taxpayers," the PNPYO said.