So, the other day, my friend gave me a hail up, and invited me to watch some indoor football with him, because one of his brothers was playing on a team. Having nuttin better to do, I agreed and figured that I could take some mental notes, in order to hone my skills for next season.
We arrived at the venue, and started to lime with all and sundry, preparing for the start of the match, when a group of fellas entered the arena, and started to participate in our lime. Now, I have come to realise that I am sometimes prone to blonde moments, or rather, I am often shocked into oblivion by the happenings around me, cuz to my shock and dismay, it took me a while to process the fact that the new attendees to said lime, appeared to all be inmates of Her Majesty's Northward Prison!!!
When the information did register, and logically, I am assessing if there was a prison break, my shock must have shown on my face, because my friend gave me a nudge with his elbow (WHICH HURT!!!), and I managed to snap out of my revere.
Now, as I am sitting there, taking in the happenings, some of the fellows hailed me up. "How you doin', 'Fro? Long time no see!" Turns out, I went to school with quite a bit of them and ironically, I am sure that my policeman brother would probably have had something to do with their incarceration, a state of affairs that made me quite nervous.
I smiled innanely, and proceeded to make small talk, all whilst inching myself away, and preparing to make an excuse for a discreet exit. But, as I am slowly makin my way out, I met up with my friend's brother, who I knew was still serving a fifteeen year term in prison, for robbery, assault, gun possession, and I do think that some form of attempted murder may have been in the mix, but I am not certain. On seeing me, he gave me an exuberant hug, and started to catch up on old times. He regaled me with stories of his incarceration, his pending appeal, why I had not come to visit him, etc, etc.
Little does he know that I do not even know where HMNP is, and I would like that state if affairs to continue.
On further enquiry, it turns out the HMNP had entered a team to the football tournament, and the prisoners were allowed a temporary supervised hiatus from the prison, for participation.
Now, I am an avid proponent for the retributory aspect of incarceration, tempered with elements of rehabilitaton, if possible, but I just cannot seem to identify the logic behind their participation to this program.
The gentlemen that I identified on the team are all career criminals (including my friend's brother), therefore, rehabilitation is out of the question. If rehabilitation did serve as the justification, why engage in such a program, and not a community oriented program? Send them to revamp the local retirement home; send them to clean litter off of the streets; have them engage in some invaluable community service, and not a football competition.
What galls me even further, is that the registration for this program is CI$1500.00, paid for by the Government! What a load of crock! Furthermore, they are reaping the additional benefits of being able to have relatively unsupervised visits with their friends, family, chillun, and baby muddas, all without having to formally log in at the prison! Is this not a slap in the face for their victims?
Last season, the indoor competition ended with a rolicking brawl, for which the participants were 'nice' 'wholesome' working boys. It was evident that the tournament organisers were ill prepared to deal with a brawl of that magnitude, which now leads me to wonder how they would expect to deal with prisoners that have nothing to lose.
On that note, I shall now exit.