By Aaron Humes, Hattieville: Vіѕіtіng Јuѕtісеѕ (а tіtlе bеѕtоwеd оn mаgіѕtrаtеѕ оf thе соurt іn thеіr сарасіtу аѕ thе сhесkѕ аnd bаlаnсе fоr thе рrіѕоn undеr thе рrоvіѕіоn оf thе Рrіѕоn Асt) are to be арроіntеd аt thе Веlіzе Сеntrаl Рrіѕоn, reintroducing a program last established in 2007.
That’s far too long in the eyes of Minister Kareem Musa, who told this morning’s gathering that prisoners should no longer have to give up their dignity in the confrontation of a stretch of time.
While Prison CEO Virgilio Murillo says the Central Prison has come a long way from the “hellhole” it was in 2002, it has not forgotten the dicta of Kolbe Foundation founder John Woods that each prisoner is treated as human, with all that that implies.
The Prison has seen its share of issues, including the mass breakout of prisoners nearly two years ago and stories of mistreatment that occasionally trickle out.
The Visiting Justice System is designed to hear prisoners’ complaints and redress them, but even more than that, according to Minister Musa, to restore prisoners’ self-respect and respect for each other as they continue their journey back to society.
The current Prison population is about 1,180, but CEO Kevin Arthurs noted that the Prison’s budget has been increased and Kolbe’s contract renegotiated, as well as improvements made to the Prison’s physical plant, making it even the envy of our regional fellows.