Categorized | National News

More Bahamians Imprisoned Abroad

Based on the latest numbers compiled, there are just under 6,000 Bahamians currently incarcerated within The United States (U.S) between Federal, City and State prisons.

There are just under 200 Bahamians locked up in US Federal prisons with four of them being women.

Another 3,000 to 6,000 are behind bars in state and city prisons, according to Washington D.C Consul General Paulette Zonicle.

“We are finding the numbers as we go to deportation. We are realizing that numbers are growing so that tells us that our citizenry is in one of these institutions,” she said.

“Nine times out of 10 Bahamians do not want you to know they’re incarcerated because they are embarrassed.”

Mrs. Zonicle says all the government can do to curb this problem at this stage is to educate Bahamians.

She further noted that what many may not know is that there are harsh consequences for their actions when they are guests in other countries.

“We’re trying to educate our citizens on a number of things for example, do not go into Wal Mart if you don’t have any money. Why are you going in there if you know you can’t buy anything? Do not come to the US and steal,” she said.

“What our citizens do not understand is that when you come to the United States of America and you steal if only a candy, you will then develop a record and when you apply for a visa to come back to the US you will be denied.”

In February, a 32-year-old Bahamian was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment for attempting to transport undocumented migrants into the United States sometime in September of last year.

This was the accused second human trafficking charge.

In a similar incident, two Bahamians were each fined over $62,000 and sentenced to two years imprisonment after they pleaded guilty in the Freeport Magistrates’ Court to assisting in the illegal embarkation of 26 illegal immigrants from Grand Bahama to the US back in May.

Bahamians have also found themselves on the wrong side of the law beyond US borders.

Nine Bahamians, who were imprisoned in Cuba for various amounts of time, were released and allowed to come back to The Bahamas last year September.

They were a part of a group of more than 3,500 prisoners apart of a pardon by Cuba during the Pope’s visit.

“The 3,522 pardoned included inmates over 60, younger than 20 with no criminal record, chronically ill, women, those set for conditional release in 2016, and some serving and working in open conditions, as well as foreigners, provided that the country of origin guaranteed repatriation,” according to a press release.

Mrs. Zonicle did not note the specific crimes most of the Bahamians in jail within the U.S were committing.



Written by Jones Bahamas

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