Putting Prisoners to work
I hate to think of what would happen if we should have a major disaster in Jamaica. We are in the hurricane season and anything is still possible. Earthquakes are a never ending threat to the island and floods and landslides happen every time it rains. How would we really fear in a major disaster on the scale of what happened in Haiti or any other of those countries in recent times?

Now let us take it a step down and look at the condition of some of our roads in the island. Commuting to work is a daily headache. We skip potholes, jump over potholes, fall in potholes and wrestle with potholes.  A 20 minutes commute can take up to a hour on some of our roads and please remember that (if my memory serves me well) the gas tax was in aid of fixing the roads.Before the JEEP drove out there was also the fear of the growth on the sidewalks meeting in the middle of the road - yes it was that bad!

There is always a solution to every problem and I believe that Jamaica as a country is experiencing great economic hardship and there is not a lot of money in the "kitty". We have, however, a largely untaped labour source from which we can get free labour and also teach respect for self, others and country, discipline and where these people will get a chance to contribute positively to the society and nation building. We could use the members of our prisons to help with the cleaning of the roads. Someone must have considered this possibility and I would like to hear of potential dangers to this opinion. In this regard we would have to garner the help of the soldiers who I believe will have the time, resources and certainly the energy to supervise these workers.

The country would save on expenses since we are already providing the basic need for these prisoners who owe a debt to society and the soldiers are already getting paid. Of course it would benefit the prisoners too. They would get a chance to get out of the prison environment for sometime  and would be making a worthwhile contribution to the development and maintenance of their country. 

There are many other jobs  which we could use our "men behind the iron doors" to do. Who is to say that locking away a convict for the rest of his life will automatically change him? Maybe interacting with the populace in a limited way will help him to learn the errors of his ways and his behaviour will change... Until such times.


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