UK gives 300 Jamaican prisoners the boot as Cameron visits Caribbean island

UK gives 300 Jamaican prisoners the boot as Cameron visits Caribbean  island

Photo: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller (right), looks on as Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Antony Anderson is introduced to Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK), the Rt. Hon. David Cameron (third right), by British High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency David Fitton (left). (Dave Reid image/JIS)


News Americas, LONDON, England, Weds. Sept. 30, 2015: More than 300 Jamaican prisoners serving time in British jails are being given the boot back to their homeland as Prime Minister David Cameron made the first visit by a UK Prime Minister to Jamaica in 14 years.

The prisoners will be returned back to their homelands to serve their sentence under an agreement signed by the UK and Jamaica today and concluded after years of negotiations. Cameron landed on the Caribbean island last evening (September 28). He is accompanied by Justine Greening, from the Department for International Development.

Sixty-nine percent of sentenced Jamaican prisoners were serving sentences for violence and drug offences. As of June 30, 2015, there were 619 Jamaican nationals in prisons in England and Wales. Approx 60% of these were serving sentences of 4 years or more, including indeterminate sentences.

“It is absolutely right that foreign criminals who break our laws are properly punished but this shouldn’t be at the expense of the hardworking British taxpayer,” PM Cameron commented. “That’s why this agreement is so important. It will mean Jamaican criminals are sent back home to serve their sentences, saving the British taxpayer millions of pounds but still ensuring justice is done. And it will help Jamaica, by helping to provide a new prison – strengthening their criminal justice system.”

The UK will provide £25 million from the government’s existing aid budget to help fund the construction of a new 1500 bed prison in Jamaica, overcoming one of the sticking points in the negotiations which had been the conditions in existing prisons in Jamaica. The prison is expected to be built by 2020 and from then returns will get underway.

The Prisoner Transfer Agreement is expected to save British taxpayers around £10 million a year once the first prisoners are returned from 2020 onwards.

The agreement provides for the transfer of prisoners who have received sentences of 4 years or more and who have 18 months or more left to serve in custody. The average annual cost of a prison place in the UK is £25,900.

PM Cameron is on a two-day official visit to the island where he is expected to address a joint sitting of the houses of Parliament today, Wednesday, September 30th.

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  • albert  On 10/01/2015 at 9:56 am

    These prisoners plus the ones from the US will make it a nightmare for Jamaica when they are released. There are returnees from the US who have no roots in Jamaica and slept at Kingston Airport or wonder in Kingston committing crimes.
    The US/UK take advantage of these poor countries. Years ago Cuba and middle eastern countries refused outright to accept returnees.
    To get the Miami Cubana votes, a republican govt., opened the US to refugees from Cuba years back. Castro opened his prison and mental asylum for them to join the exodus. Wonder if the US is negotiating to return those still here.
    Wonder if Guyana is next on Cameron list.

  • Gigi  On 10/02/2015 at 3:23 pm

    What the dickens! What’s with the pompous costume? And what’s the sword for? Possibly the ceremonious and ritualistic severing of a pig’s head? Kindly spare us the details if you do decide to share that information…

    So he’s sending back Jamaican rejects, for now? And this 25 million investment is to aid in building a prison to hold future rejects? Sure this isn’t a future British rendition site? Or will Jamaica be turned into a British penal colony? Isn’t that how the whole system started? We can clearly see the British economy is beginning to look like it did during the Victorian era – when over 80% of the population were engaged in prostitution. Even the little kids were being prostituted! So you had the 20% gentry class soliciting the services of the 80% prostitution class. And to rid the population of the rejects – those too old, ugly, sickly, gruesome, dirty – the idea of banishing them to penal colonies was created. How events turn out this time around is for future history books.

    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

    Time to dust out this classic Dickens…

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