Harold Lovell, Political Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP), is supporting the call for community service as an alternative sentence, especially for young offenders.
Attorney-General Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin had made a similar suggestion some time ago; but, to date, no move has been made to make it into law.
Lovell says the criminal-justice system affects mainly young people, and prison is not the right penalty in all instances for those who run afoul of the law.
Therefore, it is important that consideration be given to alternative sentences that do not stain a person’s character as other conventional sentences would.
Accordingly, the Political Leader guarantees that a UPP Administration will take this legislation before the Parliament during its first few months in office.
Lovell notes that Her Majesty’s Prison is usually full to capacity, with numbers significantly higher than the 150 persons it was built to house.
He says, too, that conditions at the penal facility are way below standard, and the courts should not be hurrying to imprison anyone unless it is absolutely necessary to deprive that person of his liberty.
Lovell acknowledges, though, that when a crime is committed, punishment is often necessary for the maintenance of law and order.
The Political Leader concludes that community service would be a more effective way to deal with punishing young people for minor infractions of the law.
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