A former member of Parliament is charging that the defunct Glendairy Prison could be transformed into a rehabilitation center for first offenders in the criminal system.
Hamilton Lashley who was the representative for St Michael South East from 1994-2008 told Barbados TODAY that the prison which burned in a riot by inmates on March 29, 2015, would be ideal for a rehabilitation programme supervised by the Barbados Prison Service.
“The former Glendairy Prison should now be a center where our young people can be rehabilitated, particularly, first-time offenders. Because, we have to curb this high rate of recidivism,” he said, adding that the rehabilitation center would be managed by members of the Barbados Prison Service.
The oldest penal institution in Barbados was officially decommissioned on October 25, 2016, when all prison-related activity at the site of the prison officially stopped.
However, Lashley told Barbados TODAY that once the prison is made into a rehabilitation center it will be a ‘one stop shop for first offenders.”
“It should be a center where you teach them skills, give them a newness of life. It should be a one-stop shopping agency for social rehabilitative services for the young people of Barbados with special emphasis on first offenders and their reintegration into the society,” he said, adding that the rehabilitation center could be a tourist attraction as persons could come and enjoy the architectural design of the former facility which housed 1,000 male and female inmates.
“Tourists can come in and view the historical architecture and learn the history of the place. But, of course, when they come they will have an opportunity to interact with those first-time offenders and see how they’re rehabilitated and can make a contribution,” Lashley said, adding that he believed this project would be one in which philanthropists would invest in.
“There are a bunch of philanthropists who would contribute to this type of programme,” he told Barbados TODAY.