You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

Jamaica Voices Coming Up

The Observer reports the escape attempt and killings at Tower Street General Penitentiary, March 31, 2005. This was a galvanizing event in the history of Jamaica’s correctional services, a moment in which people on all sides of the violence between keeper and kept are paused and looking for a better way forward. I attended Maurice Whittingham’s funeral, the first correctional officer to have been shot dead in many decades, a signal event.

The Gleaner reports our partnership to respond. A rehabilitation program took root in Jamaica’s prisons back in the era of Colonel Prescod and Desmond Green. It survived through early success and burst bubble as SET, students expressing truth, inmates who preferred to stay and work in a computer lab than go out on the road to sing. Kevin Wallen leads SET, now expanded to include staff as well as prisoners. Major Richard Reese is the Commissioner of Corrections. It is our partnership to advance SSET’s Rehabilitation and ReEntry Program.

Jamaica’s Department of Corrections holds a press conference to announce its intensified Rehabilitation Re-Entry Program in partnership with Kevin Wallen and the Berkman Center. This audio is near twenty minutes long, opening with the usual Jamaican formalties acknowledging the presence and introduce persons of note, then moves to statements by Major Reese, Kevin Wallen and me, still with a lot to learn.

The Observer reports that Richard Reese has released his report on the March 31, 2005 killings at Tower Street General Penitentiary. A fair detailed report provides foundation for discussion among all concerned, and evolution of a common plan to honor those past and move ahead. This is the challenge that lies ahead

Father Reece asks a question against the visual and audio background of Tower Street, GP. This a video made years ago when we were first coming to know Kingston’s prisons. Father Reece, initially a death row inmate whose sentence was commuted to life, when told after serving 18 years that he had no possibility of parole, escaped and is still free. In this there is irony.

0 Responses to “Jamaica Voices Coming Up”

Comments are currently closed.