Thursday, June 17, 2004

Ja: Keep the trash!

Jamaica yesterday reacted angrily to Britain's move to grant early release, and deport, hundreds of Jamaican nationals from UK prisons, saying the British were fobbing off onto the island a problem that should be handled by their penal system.

The UK's move, according to Prime Minister P J Patterson, would make it more difficult to control Jamaica's serious problem of violent crime, which is exacerbated by the illegal drug trade.

"We have to deal with the problems ourselves but in doing so it is not made easier by the fact that some are trying to get rid of their problem by sending them (convicted persons) back home and not deal with them as their penal system requires," Patterson said at the opening of a conference which the government hopes to use as a platform for deepening links with the Jamaican Diaspora.

Fifty-nine Jamaicans arrived from Britain last night, the first batch of more than 700 who are expected to win early release from UK jails in what is being seen as a move by the British to lessen the number of foreigners in their prisons and to ease pressure on the system.

SMITH... said Jamaica's sentencing policy too lenient

There are about 2,400 Jamaicans in British jails, among the largest chunk of foreigners in that country's prisons.
I sympathize with Jamaica because TT is confronted with the exact same problem ... the return of deportees who have honed their criminal skills abroad and create havoc once repatriated. However, the immigration laws are clear: one must be a citizen in good legal standing to remain in the host country. Work, raise a family, have fun ... just don't do crime.

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