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Prison population records a decrease over last four months

Prison population  records a decrease over last four months
Superintendent of Prisons Brenton Charles

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Over a four-month period the prison population has decreased from 486 inmates to 410, with most of the prisoners being repeat offenders.

An overall population of 396 males and 14 females has been recorded as at July 30, according to the prison status report delivered by the Superintendent of Prisons (SOP) Brenton Charles to Justice Brian Cottle last week.

Of those incarcerated, 253 or 61.71 per cent of the population are repeaters, while 157 or 38.29 are first time offenders.

The number of repeaters is only one fewer than the 254 recorded on April 8 this year. However, the figure representing inmates currently imprisoned for their first offence has seen a significant downward movement from the 232 number noted months earlier.

The Superintendent of Prisons remarked that this decrease is both positive and negative, “because it reflects that maybe we are not doing as good a job as we ought to at the prisons in terms of rehabilitation.

“…But we’re doing the best that we could in these times where rehabilitation is concerned,” he added.

COVID-19 caused a suspension of all the prisons’ rehabilitation programs where resource persons come from the outside.

The status report also enlightens on the number of inmates being housed at the facilities for each offence.

Twenty-one persons are imprisoned in relation to controlled drug possession. It is interesting that of this number, “we have one person for cocaine and the ‘hard drug’ related offences, all the others are for Marijuana,” SOP Charles stated.

The largest section of the prison population represents individuals being kept in relation to murder. This number rests at 95, and is the same as the number recorded in April.

Twenty-four inmates are serving time for manslaughter, and 13 for attempted murder.

Rape accused and convicted together amount to 19, while there are 22 inmates incarcerated in relation to unlawful sexual intercourse. Eleven prisoners are being held because of indecent assault.

Twenty-seven, 22, 46 and 11 prisoners have been removed from society in connection with robbery, theft, burglary and aggravated burglary offences respectively.

Thirty-five persons are serving time for wounding related offences, while three are on remand.

Twenty-four inmates have been convicted for possession of unlicensed firearms and are serving sentences.

14.14 per cent, the highest percentage of the population of inmates, hail from South Leeward, followed by West Kingstown with 12.92 per cent.

Eighty-five prisoners were 30 to 35 years old when they entered prison, while 84 were 40 to 49 years. These statistics represent the most densely populated age groups. There are two prisoners who were locked up when they were under 16 years old. Sixteen inmates do not know their age.

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