You carry this “nothingness”

It is often said that how society treats its most vulnerable is a measure of its character. It is arguable whether or not prisoners are part of this vulnerable population, but at the very least, once incarcerated they are vulnerable to the conditions. And the conditions in Jamaican prisons are appalling, to the point that they violate several international human rights codes.

Fellow blogger Emma attended a Jamaicans for Justice forum at which this was discussed. Here’s an excerpt and check out the full post here:

Sheryl Bailey, who was incarcerated at the Fort Augusta women’s prison, echoed Mr. Barrett’s words. “There are not enough people interested in you,” she stated simply. “Correctional officers are…not professional.” She recounted the traumatic experience of strip searches, which are designed to humiliate inmates, she felt. For Ms. Bailey, there was also this sense of being a “nobody,” ignored, worthless. The worst thing, she commented, is that you carry this “nothingness” with you even when you are released. Once you come out, there is the stigma. “You’ve done paid the penalty already,” she observed, “but you are still being punished.” 

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