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Archive for the ‘restorative justice’ Category

Suicide Prompts Probe of BVI Prisons

In prison abuse, prison sexual abuse, restorative justice, sexual abuse, sexual assault on February 1, 2008 at 8:46 pm

In the British Virgin Islands, the recent apparent suicide of an inmate has led to the launch of an investigation into the operations at Her Majesty’s Prison.

Andrew Fahie, the minister with responsibility for prisons, announced in January that in the wake of the death of inmate Patrice Grant, 30, who was found hanging in his cell from a bed-sheet on December 31, 2007.

Fahie referred to Grant’s death as an unfortunate event in the history of the country and expressed condolences to Grant’s family. He pledged that proactive measures would be implemented forthwith to avoid such incidents as well as other incidents recurring.

The mandate of the investigative team is to examine and revise the daily activities and procedures at the prison by both prison officials and inmates; review and revise the daily supervision of inmates; review the daily procedures at the prison by prison officials; examine and make recommendations about the inmates concerns and welfare; and examine and make recommendations about prison officials concerns and welfare.

Fahie assured that the investigation team is in no way aimed to belittle the work of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, the Prison Visiting Committee or any prison officials, but rather one in which we can take a closer look at the day to day operations at Her Majesty’s Prison and improve on the weaknesses of this institution and strengthen the strengths.

CURB believes that there needs to be an increase in the attention paid by prison officials to the emotional wellness of incarcerated persons. The trauma of the criminal justice process, separation from loved ones, prison conditions and the prison sub-culture are all unspoken ‘additions’ to the sentences delivered by judges and magistrates.

Without proper infrastructural changes within prisons and programmes to assist inmates treat with the challenges of these factors, self harm, inmate-on-inmate violence and re-offending post-discharge are hardly likely to be eradicated.

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Caribbean Prison Rape Reports

In prison abuse, prison sexual abuse, restorative justice, sexual abuse, sexual assault on November 30, 2007 at 8:25 pm

In November 2007, as CURB was observing Restorative Justice Week under the theme, “Not Part of the Sentence”, which highlighted the problem of prison sexual assault and abuse, we received reports of prison sexual assaults taking place in other Caribbean nations.

We reported in our RJ Blog on news items from The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands.

“Not Part of the Sentence”

In prison abuse, prison sexual abuse, restorative justice on November 24, 2007 at 5:30 am

To observe Restorative Justice Week 2007 CURB hosted a 5-day Training Programme in counselling survivors and perpetrators of sexual abuse.

For details about the landmark events, continue reading below:-

“Caribbean Umbrella Body For Restorative Behaviour (CURB) – a network of NGOs engaged in prison ministry and restorative justice activities – has recently concluded a week of public sensitisation on the issue of prison sexual abuse in commemoration of Restorative Justice Week 2007.

The theme selected for Restorative Justice Week 2007 in Trinidad and Tobago was “Not Part of the Sentence” which focuses on the need to ensure that prisoners are not sexually abused in custody and serve only the sentences imposed upon them by competent Courts of law.

To commence Restorative Justice Week, CURB hosted a panel discussion on ISAAC 98.1 FM on Sunday 18th November 2007 on the issue of male sexual assault in prison. This landmark discussion featured representatives of the Prison Reform Transformation Unit, Prisons Officers Association, a Behavioural Change Consultant, a Prison Ministry Volunteer and an Ex-Prisoner who witnessed a prison rape!

During Restorative Justice Week, CURB hosted an intensive 5-day training programme for volunteers which introduced them to competencies needed to counsel and otherwise intervene to support both survivors and perpetrators of sexual assault and abuse. The skills acquired will empower volunteers to provide timely and effective support to prison inmates who may have been sexually abused prior to going to jail as well as to those who are raped, buggered and or sexually assaulted while in prison.

The training commenced on Monday 19th November, 2007 at the Church On The Rock, Lady Young Road, Morvant and concluded on Friday 23rd November, 2007 with the distribution of certificates of participation to persons who enrolled in the programme.

CURB was privileged to secure the assistance of experienced facilitators from the Rape Crisis Society of Trinidad and Tobago and Dolly and Associates Limited who vividly and creatively outlined the local scenario in relation to the incidence of and psychological effects of child and adult sexual assault and abuse. The facilitators also explained the correlation between such abuse and the demonstration of anti-social behaviour on the part of the victims which often leads to arrest, prosecution and imprisonment.

To close R.J. Week, Mr. Wendell De Leon of Dolly and Associates Limited outlined the unique dynamics of sexual behaviour, assault and abuse in the context of incarceration and utilised role plays to illustrate techniques of working with survivors of such brutal sexual abuse. Moreover, he showed how prison sexual abuse contributes to re-offending by ex-prisoners who are traumatised and angry at the injustice they experience in prison.

The information shared by participants in the interactive sessions demonstrate that there is a need to address the problem of sexual assault in youth care facilities as well as adult penal institutions so as to prevent more serious crime and public health issues such as HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

This introductory training is the first of its kind in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean and will be supplemented with advanced courses in 2008 as CURB continues its indepth “Stop Prison Abuse” project to analyse and eliminate prison abuse in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean.

In observance of Restorative Justice Week, CURB has launched a dedicated website – www.stopprisonabuse.com – to treat with the regional problem of prison sexual and other abuses. We encourage persons who know of acts of prison sexual abuse in local prisons to contact us via email at info@stopprisonabuse.com or info@curbcrime.org.

CURB proposes to work with local prison authorities to collect comprehensive data on the incidence, causal factors and possible solutions to eliminate prison sexual abuse. We earnestly desire to see the creation of a framework of care for survivors of sexual abuse who are in prison and the delivery of effective treatment for perpetrators of sexual abuse who are in custody.

We look forward to receiving the co-operation of the Commissioner of Prisons, the Minister of National Security and the newly appointed Minister of Social Development as we continue to work towards the restoration of persons affected by crime.”

Prison Rape Radio Interview

In prison abuse, prison sexual abuse, restorative justice, sexual abuse, sexual assault, Uncategorized on November 19, 2007 at 5:19 am

To mark the beginning of Restorative Justice Week 2007, CURB President, Adrian N. Alexander, hosted a Radio Interview on ISAAC 98.1 FM about Prison Sexual Abuse.

Guests on the radio programme included the Executive Director of the Prison Reform Transformation Unit, the General Secretary of the Prison Officers Association, a Behaviour Modification Specialist, a prison ministry counsellor and an ex-prisoner.

Click on the link above to access the audio files from the interview which included an eye witness account of prison rape!

Media Releases in March 2007

In prison sexual abuse, restorative justice, sexual abuse, sexual assault on March 30, 2007 at 6:44 pm

It is March 2007, and CURB has not received any communication from the Prisons Commissioner in response to our request for a meeting in relation to the problem of prison sexual abuse.

From various parts of the Caribbean, however, CURB receives reports of incidents of prison sexual abuse and commences making entries in our CURB RJ Blog and also authoring media releases which are distributed to media houses in Trinidad and Tobago.

 

Letter to Prison Commissioner

In prison sexual abuse, restorative justice on January 18, 2007 at 6:28 pm

In keeping with a decision taken at the CURB Board of Directors meeting in January 2007, CURB sent a letter requesting a meeting with Mr. John Rougier, Trinidad and Tobago Prisons Commissioner to discuss the issue of prison rape.

CURB To Highlight Prison Sex Abuse

In prison abuse, prison sexual abuse, restorative justice, sexual abuse, sexual assault, Uncategorized on January 10, 2007 at 6:25 pm

January 2007 – At its first meeting for 2007, the CURB Board of Directors agreed to address the controversial issue of Prison Rape and sexual abuse/assault during the year to culminate in Restorative Justice Week 2007 under the theme “Not Part of the Sentence”.

Hello world!

In prison abuse, prison sexual abuse, restorative justice, sexual abuse, sexual assault on January 10, 2007 at 4:39 pm

Welcome to the Stop Prison Abuse project weblog!

This is the place where Caribbean Umbrella Body For Restorative Behaviour (CURB) will be highlighting news and developments in our efforts to confront, identify and eradicate the causal factors surrounding prison sexual abuse and assault in the Caribbean.

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