Following British Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement that Britain will spend £25 million to build a prison in Jamaica, some of Jamaica’s entertainers have rejected the idea, claiming that the money should be invested in education and development infrastructures.
According to recording artiste Savage, formerly of Mavado’s Gully Side camp, Jamaica needs help, but not by building prisons.
“The people are seeking better. Therefore, what you should be doing is build training centres and other institutions of learning. Most of the youth committing crimes in the UK are not educated and decided to go about things the wrong way. Trust me, educating them will be a better decision than to build prison,” said the deejay, who is currently promoting singles Cullu Cullu and Score.
Controversial deejay Gage also rejected Britain’s offer, as he says Jamaica cannot afford such an undertaking.
“We are already in debt. The £25 million will only benefit the contractor who build it and who get to scam around it, but nobody else in Jamaica will benefit, it’s just a prison,” Gage said.
Dancehall artiste Tiana, on the other hand, tried to be objective addressing both angles.
“We are a third world country so we can’t possibly afford to feed these criminals when they get here. But the positive thing might be because they will be in their own country, and that new prison will perhaps have better conditions than the ones we already have. But England is a first world country so they are the ones who should be housing and feeding the criminals,” she said.
Popular intro-man-turned-deejay Big Wayne believes the Jamaican government should reject England’s offer.
“I think the government should mek dem know sey dem cyah manage that right now, go somewhere else and build that. To me, that decision a guh create havoc unless when dem (criminals) done serve dem time unno a guh tek dem back a England,” Big Wayne said, also highlighting that he is promoting a new song with Justus Arison called Petrol.
Patrick Gaynor of the duo Twin of Twins believes the decision should be assessed by the government because of possible negative implications.
“This cannot be accommodated when we have so many issues of our own with crime, indiscipline and by extension disorganisation,” he said.
“Let’s say a man is born in Jamaica, but leaves immediately to the UK, commits a crime at age 40, and gets deported to Jamaica. Where does he go after he serves his time?” he questioned.
The deejay also believes the Jamaican economy is unfit to handle such a decision and suggests that rehabilitated persons should be allowed to return to England.
“There should be a guarantee that after rehabilitation they be allowed to be reintegrated into British society, or foot the expense of properly relocating them here in a foreign land that they’re not accustomed to live in,” Gaynor said.
“In order to accommodate their desire of building a prison on our soil, our government should demand an additional set of millions upfront and then more quarterly or annually to invest in the reestablishment of our lost infrastructures like the police force, factories, agriculture, cement company and airports. The resurgence of these vital infrastructures would stabilise the economy if managed effectively.”
During Cameron’s speech, he also ruled out making reparations for Britain’s role in the historic slave trade and urged Caribbean countries to “move on”.