Today’s Editorial: “Prison cells”

POSTED: 03/7/11 12:05 PM

Justice Minister Roland Duncan has his work cut out for him. The prison system is stuck, and finding a solution should now be his number one priority.

We credit the Minister for his determination to find funding for the renovation of the old police cells and for initiatives to convert part of the immigration detention center into prison capacity. His third initiative is to rent prison cells abroad.

The last option is one that could probably be settled in a matter of weeks, though one problem remains: funding.

An option that has not been explored yet – at least not publicly – is privatizing the prison system. The price of a place in prison is well documented, so it must be possible to arrive at an agreement with investors to build and operate additional cell capacity at a fixed price.

Useful as such an idea might be it does not give the island the prison cells it needs today. The early release option will help, but maybe the Minister also wants to consider the possibility to send non-resident inmates back to their own country to serve their sentence there.


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