AZP News

High Reoffender Rate in TT Prisons

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THE recidivism rate of prisoners in Trinidad and Tobago is 51 percent.

Recidivism is the tendency of a criminal to reoffend.

Independent Senator Paul Richards revealed this figure during at a Joint Select Committee (JSC) meeting on Social Services and Public Administration on Wednesday.

Richards, who is the chairman of the committee, and other members met with officials of the Prison Officers Association, Eye on Dependency programme, The Way of Holiness church, New Hope Prison Ministry and two reformed ex-prisoners.

Richards said information from the National Security Ministry showed the recidivism rate was 50 percent in 2014, 54 percent in 2015, 51 percent in 2016, 55 percent in 2017 and 51 per cent in 2018.

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He said the most prevalent reoffenders were drug and property offencers.

Richards said, “It means that more of the persons who are being released in society are ending back up into the system.”

He said the percentage of the prison population convicted of serious crimes was 75.3 percent and 24.7 per cent for minor offences.

Richards said the monthly upkeep for an inmate at the Immigration Detention Centre was $7,500 per month and an inmate at Remand Yard at Golden Grove, Port-of-Spain Prison and Carrera Convict Prison was $15,736.

He said, “So it is on our interest in TT to provide a proper restorative justice and rehabilitation system so that we can facilitate inmates re-engaging society in a productive manner.”

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