Crockwell aims to share Visionz at Westgate
A drive has been launched to make an anti-violence magazine available in Westgate prison.
Desmond Crockwell, chief editor of Visionz magazine, is looking for sponsorship to make the magazine available to prisoners, as well as to high school pupils.
Mr Crockwell said: “We need the community-focused organisations, the philanthropists, the people who care about our future, we need their support and collaboration.”
“We want to plead with the public. It's important that we try to spread the message of anti-violence consistently. We want to drive this message consistently. It's to save our future generations.”
The fourth edition of Visionz includes stories about an ex-convict, a former drug addict, and an 80-year-old woman whose family lost two young men to violence. It also includes poetry written by a prisoner.
There are messages from gang-reduction co-ordinator Leroy Bean, Michael Weeks, a Progressive Labour Party backbencher, and Lyndon Jackson, the co-ordinator of the men's health organisation MenSpeak.
Each magazine costs $10 to cover print costs and to help the organisation with other programmes designed to combat violence and drug use.
Mr Crockwell added: “It's not for us to get rich. This is no money-making thing. This is to change lives, to help people.
“Our hope is to collaborate with some of the businesses and organisations in the community to be able to sponsor the books to the schools.”
He hopes to get enough sponsorship to provide 600 to 1,000 magazines in the schools and the prison.
Mr Crockwell added: “We also want to donate some up to Westgate because this is where people who are involved in some of this can use some of these stories to inspire them.”
He added: “We wanted to focus on the prison and the schools so we actually interviewed a prison officer, people who just came out of prison and people who are incarcerated.
“We really want to drive home, from people who have been there and people who are there now, the message that it's not worth it; jail is not pretty.”
He wants the high schools to get copies of the magazine before the summer break.
Mr Crockwell added: “You never know who needs this. It could be some child that's struggling at home who wants to take the book home to mommy or daddy. It could be a neighbour that just needs some encouragement, some advice. It might be a parent who needs some help with their child.”
Mr Crockwell is grateful to those who have already donated to get the magazines in the Berkeley Institute and CedarBridge Academy.
Sponsors include restaurant chain Mr Chicken, Caesar's Pharmacy, Belvin's Variety stores, Dowling's gas station and Ascendant, the parent company of power firm Belco, as well as anonymous donors.
He said: “No school has turned us down when it comes to promoting anti-violence, to mentoring.”
Mr Crockwell hopes to include the private schools as well because violence and drug abuse affects everyone.
He said: “We have to be mindful how much we think it does not impact the rest of us.”
“The rich are stressing just as the poor are stressing. It does not discriminate against anybody; it eats up everybody.
He added: “We don't want to get to the point where there are daytime shootings, where stray bullets hit someone, where people are afraid to go out. We don't want to get there.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of National Security said: “The Government welcomes contributions from the public that assist with the Department of Corrections' mission, which is to empower and rehabilitate inmates to be responsible and productive citizens.”
The magazine is also for sale to the public at the Crawl Hill Esso service station in Hamilton Parish, the Brown & Co bookstore and the BIU gas station, both in Hamilton.