Prisoners to Soon Clean up Jamaica; Govt to Put Convicts at Hard Labour

The Government is considering using convicts to clean-up the nation's streets and gullies that have littered with garbage. In fact, the state is now considering purchasing special clothing for prisoners to wear they engage in clean-up activities.

"Any person in the systems that have a non-custodial sentence or a custodial sentence, that is low risk, could be used in this category to clean the litters in gullies," Pearnel Charles Jr., the junior national security ministry said.

The minister, in an interview with THE STAR yesterday, said cleaning streets and gullies could serve as a deterrence towards crime while at the same time help to keep the country clean.

"We need to reduce the number of persons within our custody. We have reclassification and we are also looking at electronically monitoring persons that are convicted for them to engage in clean-up activities that they might not been able to do before because of security issues," Charles Jr said.

"It was (Robert) Montague who said months ago that we could identify some suits to put them him. So it will have a double impact in that they will be able to clean up the area but also it will be used as a deterrent."

Meanwhile, Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie wants to see people sent to prison for throwing garbage on the nation's streets and in gullies.

"I believe the time has come when there has to be a call not for fines for littering, but for custodial sentencing for littering corporate area," McKenzie said.

He was speaking with journalists on the grounds of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Fisheries Division, which is located on Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston.

The building was flooded during a downpour due to the flooding of drains in the area.

"The regulations for increasing the fines are almost ready and I am meeting today at the ministry, with the legal team, to fine-tune the submission for Cabinet."

Under the law, a person commits an offence if he/she throws, drops or otherwise deposits and leaves any litter in any public place. If a person throws garbage out of a car on to the roadway, for example, he can be given a $2,000 ticket.



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