Please take special care with our returned and fragile package.
According to a local newspaper in September 2015, the United Kingdom plans to invest £25 million ($37.9 million) of its foreign aid budget to help establish a jail in Jamaica where Jamaican offenders prosecuted in the United Kingdom will serve their sentences.
Former UK P.M. David Cameron, and Portia Simpson-Miller: Photo Credit– JIS
Former British Prime Minister David Cameron paid a visit to Jamaica shortly afterward. Before the courting and honeymoon time was ended, this visit was more of an inquest to mark a construction site. The pound symbol of excitement seemed to have obscured the package’s true purpose.
Since the initial £25 million offer, it appears that this matter has been relatively quiet, with little community input on what is best for the country.
Will the monetary reward for justice and long-term treatment of these offenders fade away like the paint on many local prisons that are in serious need of a renovation?
What happens when the plane or ship returns to the United Kingdom for a new set of numbers, and the criminal system there is in severe need of resources for those who have already arrived?
Many people hope that they don’t lump everyone together with those who haven’t breached the law by overstaying their tourist visas, raising a family, and then failing to keep track of their papers.
According to experts, if this had only been about lawbreakers and serious criminals, there would have been fewer questions and tensions.
Some have argued that low-level offenders and people without proper documentation are strategically included in this package.
This puts families under a lot of financial strain, but it also has a long-term psychological impact on their British-born children, other family members, and close friends.
Non-lawbreakers and others who have served their time and been rehabilitated, contributing to society with little, or no ties to these islands or elsewhere, it appears, are frequently overlooked in these discussions or scheduled flights.
However, for the purposes of this post, it is an attempt to view it from the eyes of those who have misbehaved and refused to conform, but the subtext is that, as many have stated, many people with little infractions will be thrown in with major flights.
The complexity of politics
This issue is raising serious doubts about the ability of these countries’ leaders to push back or negotiate long-term deals when necessary. However, a number of cases across the area, highlight the intricacies of justice, power, national security, corrections, and even the function of the attorney general.
Does Jamaica or other poor and developing countries have a say or a choice when these nations account for a large amount of their economic viability?
Who sits at these decision-making tables is as important as who is arriving and what happens next.
Unfortunately, in many poor and developing countries, regardless of the political party, accountability is often left in the dark, like a cell block when the lights go out, after many big speeches, election cycles, and promises.
Good government measures are frequently overshadowed by a country’s image. To overcome what appears to be structured chaos centered on unilateral actions, these communities need leadership and decision-making that explains who, what, and why they are coming now.
How will relocating these prisoners or anyone caught up in both political and criminal codes, help Jamaica’s struggling economy and other places?
Many people believe that if a new administration takes office in Jamaica, the construction of a modern prison and the acceptance of potential deportees will be reconsidered.
The delicate dance
When confronted with these issues, decades of systemic socioeconomic challenges, mishaps, and failures to move a nation forward for a better standard of living continue to make decision-making difficult.
Regardless of one’s opinion on who should be in the container, or who will arrive without their consent. It has, however, opened numerous potential local doors.
There is the issue of job creation from a modern prison, and the way this package is being pitched appeals to many residents.
Unfortunately, several parts of the region have already struggled to address basic social needs, as well as public safety concerns and the nation’s overall progress in preparing the next generation of young people.
With high unemployment and a dwindling middle class, many local manufacturing businesses are closing, sold to foreign investors, or being taken over by imports, philanthropic contributions, and a failing educational system, which may have created a defining silence to what has been proposed.
While this structure may fill a void in the local economy, there is concern that it is simply another special operation to clean a house disguised under a variety of deviant headings.
The question of who benefits the most remains unanswered.
What is certain is that it will benefit only a few wealthy and well-connected people while disproportionately burdening Jamaica’s economy in the long run, much like a long prison sentence.
The proposed cellblocks appear to be a new form of cultural gentrification disguised as criminal outsourcing.
The Economics, Public Safety, or Just Dessert
Crime is always a national security issue for a country. And a country must strike a balance between public safety, fiscal responsibility, and humanity:
Many academics believe that the concept of “Just dessert” was created to promote equality and fairness in sentencing.
In the principle of just deserts, punishment should be proportionate to the crime. Is it, however, fair to return these individuals to Jamaica or elsewhere, and I will attempt to highlight some issues later?
While these offenders must be held accountable, it is still up for debate where their sentences should end. Rather than profit, diversion, or unloading, this debate must be driven by critical analysis for long-term impact.
Despite widespread opposition, including racial, unethical, and political concerns, the British government may see this as a long-term cost-cutting and public-safety measure.
Sure, the UK elected leaders must do what is best for its people and its economic future some argue.
Many people believe it is obvious if people are being picked up off the street like trash, dismantling families, and according to recent reports, it is more than just offloading and lightening of the cellblocks.
The unwrapping of the economics:
Many people today believe decisions are made based on isolationist push, and political ideology, rather than broad socio-economic factors.
Another debate is raging: the UK is on track to become a minority-majority country soon, and with political ideology driving decision-making and limited resources, these communities will be more vulnerable.
Several organizations and activists contended that many of these very problematic flights are not non-solutions.
According to the ministry of justice figures, the prison population in England and Wales has grown since late 2010, costing over four billion pounds per year to keep inmates. In the last 20 years, this number has doubled.
The United Kingdom has more private prisons than the rest of Europe combined, and some argue that corrections have abandoned rehabilitation and re-entry because it is far easier to expel these offenders.
Even though violence in the UK is still low in comparison to other high-crime countries, crime has become a significant issue, according to crime data.
Experts noted that homicides committed on purpose as a result of marital conflicts, interpersonal violence, violent fights over resources, inter-gang violence over turf or control, predatory violence, and murder by armed organizations are all on the rise.
High unemployment, particularly among people of color, a tight housing market, and government assistance, particularly for convicted felons, have all been points of contention.
This is similar to recognizing that if the majority of these immigrants who have built the nations from the early 1950s and thereafter return to their home country after retiring to receive their pension, the overall social system, particularly healthcare, and housing will be less burdened.
I’m not selecting sides again because personal responsibility, rehabilitation, mental health, and a release plan are equally as important as the cost of a long-term offender’s stay in a facility or where he or she was born before entering the criminal justice system.
Despite the pressure, I know this is simply the beginning. On the other hand, you can’t deny that many individuals in these communities, both locally and in the UK, will either celebrate or sit silently in response to these pending human containers because, as they say in this culture, “don’t make the family look bad.”
The gumbo-soup deportation has affected mothers, fathers, husbands, children, and other family members who must now face economic hardships and psychological issues.
Many experts believe that these activities will inevitably result in the impoverishment of several families. These were the single providers, hardworking folks who committed a mistake for which they were held responsible.
Fortunately, these issues have resulted in the formation of support organizations, children telling their stories, wives, husbands, and families pushing back to ensure that individuals who have been wrongfully deported, as well as those who may be waiting on the runway or on a new list, receive some sort of justice.
Beyond the headlines, how did they get here?
In theory, I believe Jamaica and other countries may have had lengthy pre-sentence reports that either indirectly or directly contributed to these criminal packages.
Sure, no one can blame these struggling countries entirely for those who left but made no contribution to their adopted countries, and in some cases have created mayhem.
These systems frequently fail to reexamine their modernization processes, overlooking not just the complexities of how they reached this stage, but also the absence of resources that may have had a chance reversed the direction.
Again, we’re talking about long-term criminogenic issues here, but can you overlook the other people who are at low to no risk and swept up in this big tent?
The international community is surprised because many receiving countries have no control over the unloading, and possibly various economic checks offered have been cleared, as well as minimal accountability from authorities who stand to benefit from these decisions.
Herbert Volney, opinion writer: “The Silence of Trinidad and Tobago’s Judiciary.” He emphasized that all voices should be heard objectively, as well as the balance of power in government from the top down.
Again, a nation without rules and regulations cannot progress, and offenders must be held accountable; yet, would the same re-gift occur if crime rates among other ethnic groups rise?
Many reports have revealed the radicalization of other groups, as well as an increase in stabbings, bombs, and other public safety concerns.
The packing tapes that bind the barrels
Despite its negative colonial history, Britain has always provided aid to Jamaica and other Caribbean islands, though it has rarely been publicized.
On May 8, 1907, the New York Times reported that it had guaranteed a loan in the aftermath of a major earthquake in Jamaica. However, does its history gives some of today’s decisions a free ride?
Historians have noted, however, that since 1846, when Britain rescinded favorable trade terms, and on August 6, 1962, independence has created more dependents, increased crime, and political discourse that has widened the divide between the haves and have-nots.
These historic footprints were left by the British around 1655, and according to experts, after Spain ceded Jamaica to England in 1670 via the Treaty of Madrid, it is like a chain from slavery.
Families who emigrated to the United Kingdom, the nations profited from the once-open migration policy.
Today, should their offspring who failed to meet expectations, whether due to mental illness, poverty, a failing educational system, or violent criminals, continue to be a dumping ground, especially for families cut off from migration?
Inside the box: are they criminals, offenders, or scheduled deportees?
Even though there are many different perspectives on the rule of law and how it is applied to how individuals are treated, I am only opening these packages and sifting through the headlines diving a little deeper.
It’s difficult to argue that these blue water inmates won’t reduce recidivism and incarceration costs in the UK.
On the other side of the argument, you cannot maintain a successful nation where criminals continue to rage on and dismantle national trust.
What is inside now that the tapes have been removed from the box? Will each flight contains both good and bad apples, some of which were lost in the new system, and will they be rehabilitated in areas where crime and poverty are worse than where these flights originated?
Before reuniting with their families, some migrants frequently miss several key diagnosis issues such as drugs and alcohol, anti-social behavior, and mental health issues.
What might a psychological, psychosexual, or substance addiction evaluation have revealed for some of these criminals before migration?
This is where I believe the majority of these places have failed to address these issues, and why critical assessment and a support team will be critical.
Leaders must strike a balance for reintegration, such as housing and employment, in order to reduce additional psychological burdens.
According to studies, many immigrants confront significant unemployment and isolation, as well as little academic skills and few struggles to adapt to a new way of life.
Furthermore, some were exposed to gangs, radicalized, and joined criminal enterprises, disintegrating from their parents’ work ethic, pride, and adherence to basic rules.
The label or lost connection:
Individually, these offenders may have varied situations; however, today’s deportees are not given sufficient assessments: Are these people thieves, rapists, child predators, murderers, drug dealers, or victims with psycho-emotional problems?
Reintegration is still difficult, and vital medical treatment for this population is typically underfunded. Few people complained about being singled out.
They claim that deportees commit the majority of crimes in the Caribbean today and that even if a criminal never left the country, they are held responsible. Few people complained about being singled out.
Many of those who departed these islands as infants had no cultural ties other than where their birth certificates were registered.
Many deportees are killed or assaulted, and some have reported receiving little or no justice as a result of the stigma that they are all criminals who would be marginalized and receive little or no support.
A different package: A delicate balance
Another form of payment that Jamaica and other former British subjects in the region could use is “reparation?”
Former Prime Minister David Cameron, like many others before him, avoided the question.
For decades, writers, reformers, and advocates believed that reparation would promote greater democracy, economic development, better civil society, and overall people’s health, thereby ensuring prosperity.
Quietly, not all Caribbean people support compensation for descendants of formerly enslaved people: some still see themselves as the ruling class, while others struggle to present a road map for whether and how reparation could help the nation.
These in-fights and struggles further highlight that if reparation were to be awarded, who will benefit? Few scholars still see corruption as a major part of poverty in the region, and a new prison is not an economic formula to lift Jamaica and elsewhere out of poverty.
What about rehabilitating a few of the Caribbean’s outdated and deplorable prisons, increasing funding for poor rural health clinics, schools, drug rehabilitation counselors, vocational training centers for job readiness, or, even better, forming a forensic team to solve current crimes?
Today, government success is measured not by lowering the unemployment rate, increasing the GDP, or graduating more college students, but by keeping the death rate below 1,000, a few have reported.
These agreements should be made public, but as previously stated, there may not be many local leaders can do if the check has already been cleared, and access to aid may be part of the package.
They should place a greater emphasis on preparing the island’s youth for a brighter future, reducing the desire to migrate to the UK and other places for survival.
The separating stamp, which can be easily linked back on:
Numerous economic uncertainties could complicate this package now that Brexit is a reality and the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union.
It may not be a large shipment, but rather small amounts to see what else can be shipped or unloaded as the country regains its economic footing, or national identity, as some have argued.
Who will be the next to arrive on these shores: homeless, queer, gays, single mothers, unemployed, or a few with opposing political ideologies, or maybe if you left for a period of time, no re-entry?
Regardless of political silence, the location of the prison, who will supply beds, clothing, and food, and who will benefit from the prison should be made public if implemented.
For Jamaica and generally poor and developing nations balancing capitalism, race, and culture, pockets of barbaric ideologies appear to be a steel gate.
Public safety seems to be a deferred sentence in which people conform simply because they believe they are being watched until the light goes out.
Without comparing to many other countries that struggle with mass killings due to easy access to guns, drugs, and poverty, such delivery may be more problematic for those who have issues but are not criminals and may become one as a result of separations from their families.
The oncoming traffic
I hope that present and future leaders will read the fine print, analyze this package, and work together across party lines to find a common ground on what is best for Jamaica’s long-term viability, regardless of party or political power.
While the sending leaders may appear to be riding in different vehicles, in the long run, most will be traveling in the same direction, and collaboration, accountability, and fairness will be critical,
Only you know the impact of each case, even if some are unique. Hold your leaders accountable, and request a copy of the notes that led to the final decisions.