Prisoners should work, not 'wuk' - Ninja Man insists sex is not rehabilitation
Once-incarcerated dancehall star Ninja Man believes that while allowing conjugal visits for prisoners is a 'nice gesture', it perhaps ought to be revisited after implementing other rehabilitative programmes.
On Monday, National Security Minister Robert Montague announced the new measure saying "we must begin to humanise" prisoners.
"But to me, humanising them means to put them in a job. If you giving them any form of rights, get them some job. The man in prison nah nuh work," Ninja Man told THE STAR. "What we should be doing is thinking of ways and means to stop (using) taxpayer's money just for keeping prisoners."
Ninja Man wondered what would happen if a woman got pregnant from a conjugal visit.
"How dem aguh deal with that? Find dem something to do before yuh gi dem woman, and them get another unwanted pickney. You cannot have a solution for a problem that's gonna cause another problem," he said.
Ninja Man opined if prisoners get into a habit of working and earning while incarcerated, they will re-enter public life more seamlessly.
"Rehabilitation is di first thing. Make the prisoners fix the police vehicles," he suggested. "Give them some mechanic work, farm work, road work, gardener work. When them start a life like that, they will get used to being someone who is part of society."
He suggested opening bank accounts for inmates, and having proposed salaries disseminated between those accounts, with some money going to their families.
"So when them come out and see a man in a nice shirt, they don't want to rob, but to go buy. Dem will want to work and join the working class. It's the addiction to the life of doing nothing that's plaguing the country right now," Ninja Man said.
Human rights group Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) has come out in support of the plan for conjugal visits.
Spokesperson Susan Goffe argued that measures to facilitate reintegration of inmates in society are important since most prisoners will eventually be released.
Goffe said that if inmates leave prisons with stronger family relationships they will be less likely to reoffend.