Minister of Home Affairs and Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite has urged Barbadians to give former prison inmates a second chance as they attempt to reintegrate into society.
During his address at the decommissioning ceremony of Her Majesty’s Prison Glendairy on Saturday, Brathwaite lamented that offenders were hardly accepted by their families and often turned away by businesses in their search for employment.
“The acceptance by their families is usually too short lived. They are all welcoming for the first couple of weeks and then they are being told why don’t you go and find a job . . . and when they go out into the work force they are being told we cannot hire you because you have a criminal conviction”.
Brathwaite warned that the lack of acceptance was among factors contributing to a high rate of recidivism.
“I can only stress and I can only beg and plead with you, that if we don’t not give them a second chance then prison becomes more of a revolving door,” said Brathwaite.
He admitted that the country was working to contain increasing recidivism but stressed that it could only be lowered with the cooperation of the public.
“The truth is that we’re not doing as we would like to do, because we always aim to do better but we can only do better if we have the cooperation of you the public. We need to ensure that when the young man applies for a job in Barbados and he says that he has a criminal record that you don’t automatically close your doors to him, Brathwaite said.
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