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Why not outsource prisoners?

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December 10, 2014

Dear Sir

This is an open letter to Premier and Minister of National Security, Mr Dunkley. I sometimes read incredibly intelligent ideas put froward by normal people both in the letters section of the RG or in a blog on social media. Most often these ideas seem never to go anywhere and I suspect it’s because the typical reaction of people who govern is to look at the obstacles and not the possibilities. I am also amazed that no one ever seems to respond to these ideas.

So I am asking Mr D to tell me why this idea couldn’t and shouldn’t work well for Bermuda. And believe me, I am well aware that its not an original idea...but it is topical.

It is common practice all over the world to outsource the housing of prisoners. I didn’t say it happens all the time but I researched this and it does happen in almost every country. Why not here? Send prisoners to (I suggest) the UK or some other decent country and pay that country to house them.

People I’ve mentioned this to say that Jamaica is an option but as good an idea as it is, it would never be acceptable.

First benefit would be a cost savings. We have to be the most costly prison system in the world. Second and most beneficial result will be that it just might make these people think a bit - although I seriously doubt it. I’m obviously suggesting this for people convicted of serious crimes. Longer sentences, gang related or crimes where treatment may be of use and is not really available here.

I realise that you and I would automatically think of prison as a very bad thing but I am absolutely convinced that being sentenced to Westgate is probably thought of as “the good life” when compared to the life most of these dudes live.

You get the gist. Its not as simple as I make it but what’s wrong with trying it out. It will not cost us any more than we are spending per prisoner now (and probably less) and from every source I’ve spoken to, these hot shots won’t be so cocky when they know they are headed to Dartmoor and not Westgate. And please do not tell me the sad story that their grieving family will not be able to visit...I will be physically sick.



Westgate Correctional Facility
Michael Dunkley