Categorized | National News

Prison Youth Programme Raises Concerns

President of the Bahamas Prison Officers Association (BPOA) Gregory Archer said he is staunchly opposed to Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) hosting its summer youth camp on the prison grounds.

Mr. Archer said even though the programme is a wholesome idea, the thought of school kids frolicking on the prison grounds raises security issues for members of the BPOA.

“The association’s only concern would be security,” he said. “That is a prison. Why do you want to bring children between the ages of seven to 13 on the compounds?

“I see the positive impact in teaching them, but I am only worried about security. If you watch the police, if they have a programme they utilize the schools or a church. I feel like we should have carried them off the compounds. That is a prison, not a playground or whatever.”

HMP is hosting its first summer youth programme, which started on Monday and ends August 22.

Under the theme “Changing lives through sports,” the programme hosts the youngsters to various activities at the prisons for several hours on weekdays.

It takes place at the HMP Sporting Complex, which is located within the walls of the prison.

This is why Mr. Archer said the prison could have found alternative locations to host the camp.

“Let’s be real,” he added. “First of all it is a prison. To have a summer programme within those walls, whether you feel as if the prisoners are locked in their cells, there are still a lot of activities going on. Even if the prison wanted to do a programme which is positive, we could have rented a place or used one of the government facilities, and we go to them instead of them coming to us, because if something happens to one of those children the nation will lash out.”

“I want the record to reflect—we are not against the programme. We just see the seriousness of having it on the compounds.”
Mr. Archer told the Bahama Journal that he was tried to contact Superintendent Patrick Wright about the matter, but has gotten no response. He added that he would be writing to National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage about the issue today.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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