Right Steps & Poui Trees

.#AToZChallengeJamaica: I is for Indignity


I had all sorts of things in mind for my “I” post: iguana, INDECOM, IMF, Integrity Commission, even ice cream (as in Devon House). And then on Wednesday (June 7) I read the following letter in the Gleaner:

Gleaner 7-6-16 Letter of Day heading

Gleaner 7-6-16 Letter of Day text

Indignity. Prison visitors treated with indignity. Treated in a contemptuous, insulting, humiliating manner.

Tower Street Correctional Centre

Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre, Kingston


This is not an isolated experience or complaint, and it isn’t to say that all staff within corrections and remand treat visitors contemptuously. But it is to say that there is a systemic problem which often makes it difficult for family members to maintain meaningful contact with a relative who has been incarcerated, though undeniably such contact can be vital to the prisoner, the family, a process of rehabilitation and eventual reintegration into society.

One comment following the letter online points to a similar situation experienced at Fort Augusta, the women’s prison, and mentions a lack of shelter for visitors waiting to go inside, a problem that exists at a number of facilities.

Gleaner 7-6-16 letter comment

I know one facility at which the absence of a shelter for visitors is a real concern for the staff, who have asked for such a structure to be built, even a temporary one. I guess, though, that this is very low on any list of priorities.

Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre

Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre, St Catherine

The Core Values of the Department of Correctional Services are posted on its website. Among those values is respect. Systemic focus on respect reduces indignity.

DCS mission statement etc





Author: rightpouitree

Navigating the real and virtual worlds and sometimes writing about what I observe...

4 thoughts on “.#AToZChallengeJamaica: I is for Indignity

  1. Reblogged this on Jamaica: Political Economy and commented:
    Instructive! You think that you’d have no trouble being allowed to stay a long time in a facility from which most people would want to flee in a heartbeat. But, the actions are so reminiscent of how Jamaicans treat the idea of ‘serving customers’–disdain is a commonplace.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for reblogging. You are right that this is reminiscent of many other situations in Jamaica.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Petchary's Blog and commented:
    I should have posted this much earlier in the day. Apologies to my fellow blogger Susan. This is such an important issue across the board. Indignity is something Jamaicans have to suffer too often, at the hands of someone with some kind of power – whether it’s a security guard, a prison warder, a police officer…and so on.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for reblogging, Emma!