‘Portland Cottage needs a prison’ - Resident believes it would bring jobs to community
Despite the stigma of prisons, for some men in Portland Cottage in Clarendon, a prison would provide much-needed work for people in and around the community.
The most outspoken, Ian Edwards, said people in the community, especially men, are at risk of being drawn to do wrong because they do not have jobs.
He said that a prison would provide security guard jobs for some, while also incarcerating wrongdoers.
"We have three high school, and if you don't have any money to go further on, you need a job. If they don't have anything, the man dem weh a recruit them to do wrong a go win. Either you choose right, or you choose wrong. But without a job opportunity, what you think dem a go do?" he asked.
He told CENTRAL STAR that the Monymusk Factory provided jobs for many in and around the community, but since its closure, people have nothing to turn to.
Another resident, Omar Cooke, said that the Government can use this time to open other factories in the area to provide jobs for people.
"Since we no longer have a cane factory, wi need something else. You can't develop a place that is developed already and that has jobs already. Everything them do in Kingston where there is job already. What about the other areas that can be developed and [where] people need jobs?" he said.
Edwards said that the prison would provide jobs not only for security guards, but for doctors, nurses, cooks and janitors, too.
He said that people are interested in getting jobs so they canhave a chance to save money and elevate themselves.
Meanwhile, Augustus Ebanks said that he would rather have a HEART Trust/NTA school in Lionel Town to teach skills to younger persons.
"Mi nuh too agree with the prison, but we need a HEART school down here. People affi travel too far to get to one weh deh May Pen or so. If we have one down here inna Lionel Town, people would a even ride and go to school and get a skill. But where it is now, it is out of reach, and you not working and you don't have any money, so it is difficult. We need it," he said.
However, Edwards is confident that a prison would make things better.
"Seh that you have 200 people weh get let out of high school a year time. You don't have job for them. But if you build a prison for at least 50 out of that 200, you would have saved 50. It hard to save everybody, [but] out of that flock, they can save somebody else. But if there is no job, no one can be saved, and then you get the problem because them ago start teef to survive," Edwards said.