Home - The Star
January 23, 2013
Star Features


 

Jailing a broke man for money!

Look here nuh peeps; yesterday was an interesting day for me. Yeah man! First of all, let me be the first to tell you the good news: consistent entertainment of the 'kinteet' variety soon tun up in Kingston again.

Yes, friends and lovers of laughter, I had some splendid smile time at the salubrious and well-appointed South Beach Café yesterday evening at the media launch of the 'Comedy Café, - a brand-new regular monthly comedy series that is set to start next Wednesday, January 30 and continue on the last Wednesday of every month. But that wasn't all that happened.

'Cliff Twang in Jail' - that's the news that the front page of yesterday's STAR screamed at me, and it definitely attracted my attention. Then I read that he was actually jailed after being hauled before the courts by his wife and mother of his children for lack of child maintenance, and that disturbed my meditation.

Listen, I would never ever try to provide excuse or encouragement for any wicked man who deliberately neglects his responsibility to provide material and emotional support to his children. Man fi mind dem pickney, especially if dem can afford to. That is straight-up and simple and we can all agree on that.

border-line stupid

But I still think it's counter-productive and border-line stupid for the authorities to throw a man in jail because he's either unable or unwilling to provide maintenance for his children. What you think? How jail ago help? Spending time in jail effectively prevents a man from accessing income-earning opportunities, doesn't it? Of course! So, we trying to force a man to spend money on his kids, and we do it by making it harder for him to earn money? Does that make any sense?

If the father is already working, the visit to jail could mean loss of employment. And if a man is unable to find work, a visit to jail will definitely not advance his chances, if it's honest legal work he's seeking. In fact jail time may just compound a problem. Yeah man, a man who probably already feels less than adequate because of his inability to stand up to his financial responsibilities could face stiff situations in jail that further erode his manhood, deepen his anger and make a bad situation extremely worse.

financial obligation

I'm no legal luminary, but I understand that legally, that thing called 'debtors' jail' no longer exists. So one can't be jailed for not being able to repay a loan or fulfil some other financial obligation. One can, however, be locked up for disobeying a court order to make payments. Whatever the situation, though, I really don't think it helps a child or a mother and it certainly doesn't help a father, when a man is jailed for not paying child maintenance.

I'm sure some other means could be devised to ensure that a child benefits from the financial resources of her father who's gainfully employed, unless the aim here is simply to punish and humiliate men, and feed into the dammed and damnable stereotype of the 'wutless Jamaican man'. Dem things yah disturb me peeps!

Rhatid, unnu realise that I'm actually ranting here? And I had made a solemn resolve to rant less this year. I was really hoping to focus exclusively on the nice things and gush generously about gratitude and all dem nice things deh. But to be honest, that can get cloying very quickly. Yes I will try to still spread levity and share laughs because that's basically in my DNA. But as long as di old brain still working, I have to tackle and challenge certain issues same way.

Email: box-mi-back@hotmail.com.

If the father is already working, the visit to jail could mean loss of employment. And if a man is unable to find work, a visit to jail will definitely not advance his chances, if it's honest legal work he's seeking.

Bookmark and Share
Home | Gleaner Blogs | Gleaner Online | Go-Jamaica | Go-Local | Feedback | Disclaimer | Advertisement | Privacy Policy | Contact Us