Don't neglect inmates, custos urges relatives

By Kimone Edwards
Observer intern

Friday, December 14, 2018

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Custos of Kingston Steadman Fuller is urging the families of prison inmates to visit them as many are usually left feeling unloved and abandoned.

“It is very important that we make a connection with them when they are in [prison], because otherwise, when they are out, they will feel like they are out of place,” he said, noting that some inmates have been incarcerated for a number of years without visitors.

Fuller, who was speaking at a Christmas Family Fun Day for spouses and children of inmates of Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre yesterday, said that “oftentimes when they are behind these walls, they can feel that they are forgotten and neglected”.

The fun day, organised by the Lay Magistrates Association Jamaica (Kingston Chapter), allowed prisoners to reconnect with their loved ones.

“At this time of year, particularly Christmastime, we are going to tell them that you're alive, you're a human being, and somebody cares. Because, sadly, some of them have resigned themselves and said their next destination from these walls will be the cemetery,” Fuller lamented.

“They are human beings who have made mistakes and they have paid the price, and I think the least we can do is ensure that they live as human beings until they die,” he said.

Fuller, who is also chairman and managing director of Kingston Bookshop Ltd, assigned a card-making booth for the distribution of Christmas cards that children could decorate and write to their incarcerated family members.

This, he said, will find a prominent place on the inmates' cell walls as it will remind them of their loved ones on the outside.

He also announced that justices of the peace have prepared care packages and will meet with at least 70 of the inmates to instil in them hope and love for the holidays.

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