Young offenders in prison raise concerns

The State Prison at Stockfarm. Photo:
The State Prison at Stockfarm. Photo:

Assistant Superintendent of Prisons, Raphael Catin, has expressed concerns over the amount of young offenders being brought to the state prison, saying the numbers are increasing.

Some 17 young offenders have been at the prison located in Stock Farm, he revealed.

“The amount is increasing and they are coming there for various crimes,” he said when questioned in court at the closing of the Criminal Session on Monday, July 18, 2016.

Males dominate the prison the population and there are two juveniles in custody.

“We have 211 inmates at the prison which consists of 208 males, three females, we have two juveniles in custody but I can tell the court that 17 young offenders have been at the prison,” he said.

Also at the prison are four foreign nationals: three Chinese and one Haitian.

Catin also told the court that they are in the process of doing renovation work on the security block at the prison to include toilet facilities.

At present, there are 11 inmates in the security block and they are using a pail to dispose of human waste.

“The toilet facility at the security block is being addressed, estimates are now being sought after which renovation work is expected to commence,” Catin said.

He also expressed concerns about security at the prison, saying that people are still sending drugs and other illegal times over the fence for prisoners.

“We intercept some and even call the police but it is still a major concern for us,” he said.

At present, there are no security cameras on the prison compound or attached to the fencing at the prison.

“We have no cameras in the prison or outside but we intended to do that,” he stated.

Catin showered praise on the medical team at the prison headed by one doctor and nurse and also includes two prison officers.

“We have greatly improved on our medical…we have a doctor and a nurse holding clinic for the inmates every fortnight …. the doctor is available anytime we need her,” he said.

According to Catin, while prison officials want more staff, that is not for them but for the government to work on.

He also questioned the lack of interest shown by men to be prison officers. He said 34 applications for jobs as prison officers have been received and out of that, 24 were from women.

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  1. Tell the Facts
    July 19, 2016

    Dominica needs a new and bigger prison. As they say today, a state-of-the-art one with security cameras inside and outside. Make it difficult for them to receive illegal drugs
    A rehabilitation program is necessary for especially the youths.
    If the government is lobbied enough, in time a new prison will be built with a rehabilitation program.
    The authorities must do their utmost to eradicate crimes in D/ca especially among the youths. These youths are wasting their God-given precious time. They need help to give up their criminal ways.

    July 19, 2016

    i suppose that is not supposed to be a place anyone wants to be, which is why it is the way it is. its important to note that unless their is some form of rehabilitation (training education, farming) offenders will return. The lack of cameras at a prison in this day and age is worrysome.

  3. J.John-Charles
    July 19, 2016

    If the place is so uncomfortable,this is the last place I would want to return! and if I am out of prison why on God’s earth should I want to enter this place.?

    • July 19, 2016

      J. John -Charles:

      You have made a good point. It is a question to which there seems to be no answer.

      Knowing the dreadful condition inside the prison why would anybody commit a crime that would land them there? If you are going to do time at least do it for a good reason :!: Yet some of the crimes people go down for are unreasonable. The pleasure they receive from doing the crime is not worth the suffering of doing the time. And then when they come out what do they have?

      The behavioral sciences do not have an answer for what is happening in the heads of the people to put them on this path. Psychology cannot explain it. Sociology cannot explain it. But the Word of God (the Bible) has the answer. First, we were all born with a fallen broken sin bent nature inherited from Adam and Eve. Second, some by the practice of certain sins have come under the control of evil spirits. A small
      minority have become demon possessed.

      • July 19, 2016

        continued …

        Yet, there is forgiveness for all our sins, and deliverance from this sad condition :!:

        It was made available 2,000 years ago. I point you to a hill called Mount Calvary, and to an old rugged cross. Behold, the God-Man, wounded and bleeding, paying the price to set you free!

        He did not have to die because He committed no sin.

        “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5,6)

        “… Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31)

        “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,9)

        Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

      • Tell the Facts
        July 19, 2016

        Criminals never think they will get caught. The thought of being arrested, handcuffed, imprisoned, appearing in Court, some also in shackles and whatever else ensues should deter them from committing crimes. I guess they do not care nor about their reputation.
        When they were younger, most of them were church-going people. Once they sway from it and ceased praying, they left room for the devil to take over. In addition, bad company corrupts.
        Some of them could be delinquents, school drop-outs and were disobedient to their parent(s).
        This is why the authorities should allow them to see a psychiatrist or a social worker. They could determine what caused their criminal activities. Hopefully they could be rehabilitated.

  4. Dr Clayton Shillingford
    July 19, 2016

    This is a damning account of the poor state of the prison from Assistant Superintendent of Prisons, Raphael Catin..It is another symptom of the low standards and dysfunction in Dominica society and is a reflection on the character of our leadership at various levels

    • Tell the Facts
      July 19, 2016

      Do the prison officials not receive funding for maintenance? Why do they allow the prison to become rundown? It primarily has to do with the Superintendent of Prison. If he feels he is not responsible, then he should speak up about it.

    • Ackie
      July 20, 2016

      But wait that’s your house man? For my part it should be infested with rats and cockroaches and no toilet or bath let them catch rain water to drink and bathe, they should be fed on stale bread and sweet water and sometimes pig meat and white rice. Nobody should be able to bring them anything up there. Its punishment not a holiday inn!

  5. Favoured
    July 19, 2016

    The speaker made a fuss about her security she figured Trafalgar people doh like her and boom surveillance cameras were installed, police security outside and inside her house. The state palace for one man security cameras galore. We have police officers in an office opposite the office of the PM monitoring surveillance cameras 24/7 of certain perimeters around also monitoring telephone, emails,twitter and whatsapp messages especially of people who they perceived as being anti government. There are CCTV coverage at Villas, and at some minister’s homes/rather houses BUT there are none at the State Prison. PM want to eliminate Pitt latrines around Dominica but a State institution is not given priority. NEP posted where they are not required just to tie up people foot however their is none posted at the State Prison. But is not today that is like that nuh some will say. But the Facts are, it has been so for at least 16 years and guess who is in power. Hope none of us end up there.

    • Boss man
      July 20, 2016

      That’s good for them those lazy and worthless animals that like up there they even lucky they have pail. All they do is look for trouble, steal people things, sell drugs, touch people little children , doh support their children and so forth. And when they do their thing they know is free food, free shelter and free boom boom.

  6. July 19, 2016

    This prison been there the same way for donkey years.That tells whether a country is advancing or not.No doubt there are so many criminals out on the streets.Young offenders yes..and so,when they commit a crime what do you’ll expect to do with them.Tell them to be good boys and send them back home to mother..That’s all part of the job guys,look after them,that’s why there is a minister for security…

    • Tell the Facts
      July 19, 2016

      Their lawyers are effective in their being out on the streets. You know, “They are first time offenders. They admitted their guilt and did not waste the Court’s time.” Oh my! If this is still on the books, it should be quashed from it.
      They are aware they may receive leniency therefore they keep committing crimes and hopefully they will be released on bail and/or not imprisoned. Something has to be done about that.

  7. IamanIdiot
    July 18, 2016

    Pails? No Cameras?

    • Boss man
      July 20, 2016

      Your name speaks for itself yes thats what you read.

  8. anonymous2
    July 18, 2016

    Some of the criminals end up in prison by for every one that is there there are at least another 3 that should be there and aren’t. DA would have to build a huge facility to contain them all. The only thing increasing in DA is crime. The vast majority are young males that have lost their way a long time ago. The fall of society into chaos.

  9. Hope
    July 18, 2016

    Can someone please explain to me why must this dlp administration have to be at the head of every single thing???? I mean in a case like the prison utilities should not be in that state. And if there is a need for more staff. why can’t the superintendent and other in positions at the prison take charge interview interested persons why must they wait for govt to approve. Smfhhhhh this country just ughhhhh sigh

      July 19, 2016

      Because Dominicans are lazy and want to depend on other people for everything! thats why!

  10. Tell the Facts
    July 18, 2016

    Why are there many youths in prison? A discussion should be held with their parent(s) to inquire why these youths have become criminals.
    Discipline begins at home. They should be attending school . Were they school drop-outs or did they commit crimes while attending school? What caused them to turn to crime? These are the questions which should be asked.
    Prisoners who are in the security area and other areas must have a functional toilet. I hope they will get them as soon as possible.
    Pertaining to drugs thrown over the prison walls, I read about it a year or two ago. So far nothing is done. The walls should be heightened. An effective security system with cameras should be installed inside and outside the prison.
    Some staff work mainly for an income. You also need prison officers who are serious and take an interest in their job. Document their performance and inform them accordingly. It could increase their performance.

  11. July 18, 2016

    In todays day, and age people [inmates ] are still using buckets as toilets? seriously tell me it ant so, prison should not be a pleasant experience but plastic pale for toilet in 2016 , give me a break who empty those buckets? the health department should look into this , Correctional officer in America has had fecal matter mix with urine thrown in there faces ending with hepatitis C, aids and many other illnesses , who is looking out for the Dominican prison officers? . we need leadership and it start at the top the warden , please don’t be afraid to ask for reform and a better facility

  12. July 18, 2016

    prison is there to try to help people to reform and not to make them feel that they are forever an outcast. in this day and age human beings have to relieve themselves in a pail? any one could have the unfortunate circumstances to go to prison but in this beautiful country of ours depending on your social status and if you are affiliated to the ruling party/ ruling class then you have political immunity from police arrest and prosecution from the DPP.If we do not have fowl memory then we will recall the incidents . prisoners while they have to be taught the error of their ways it must be done in a humane manner to reinstate them back in society as law abiding citizens. If they are made to feel that they are subhuman then the prison door will be a revolving door for many of them .We must face the fact that things which happen in the society reflects on , all of us, the home , the church, the Govt. the judicial system and the so called good citizens.

  13. duck1951
    July 18, 2016

    Is any effort being made to analyze the psychic or ability of the inmates to determine whether they can be rehabilitated and if so are programs being instituted or in place to help them become productive when they are released ? In fact a major effort must be made to employ them once released .

  14. Noreen
    July 18, 2016

    Most degrading, what a nasty looking place.

  15. dee
    July 18, 2016

    oh oh
    no cameras in this day and age ?
    I must say Da have the best behaved inmates in the world .
    no question about that .

  16. DomiChina
    July 18, 2016


    What is being done to provide jobs for the people

  17. Daniel J Tanner
    July 18, 2016

    This is because Dominica is raising a generation of thugs, thanks to the influence of US media.

    • 3 Women in prison
      July 18, 2016

      Not Dancehall most dominicans does listen too? Even want to talk like they Jamaicans, just last week I correct somebody on here and I got a lot of dislikes… Talking about they “Haffi”

  18. Confused
    July 18, 2016

    What did I just read!!!!! Disposing of human waste in a pail & no security cameras at a state prison????? Help!!!!! Can anybody explain???? :cry:

  19. Domdom
    July 18, 2016

    After Skerrit said that he mission is to discontinue pit latrine in D/ca, you mean fu say that de prison doh even ha latrine much less for flush toilet is a bucket they have to use. No, this is a joke man. All you sure? We are in 2016, but, but, what me a hear dey. De man nor ha no shame? Skerrit put flush toilet for the prisoners. Dominica is the most backward, island in the Caribbean. Also there is no security cameras at the prison. Skerrit charity begins at home. Fix up the government facilities. Your priorities are out of order. You have informed us that you are unable to count but get some help. Do not be ashame to ask for help. Please do not ask Justina because she is worst than you. There will be too many errors.. I have a suggestion, ask mr. Linton. Mr.Linton please give Skerrit some help please.

    • %
      July 18, 2016

      Dominica is indeed the most backward island in the Caribbean,and this started when DLPassumed office in 2000, but it was accentuated in 2004 by Skerrit,a highly qualified idiot who does not know the difference beteen 30apartments and 24apartments!!!WHAT A SHAME!

  20. July 18, 2016

    Poor leadership leads to lack of jobs, lack of jobs, lead to unemployment, unemployment leads to poverty, poverty leads to crimes and crimes lead to more people in jail

  21. free
    July 18, 2016

    No cameras at the Prison.????? In 2016 ??? Smh

  22. jack robin
    July 18, 2016

    I cannot believe young men in Dominica not applying themselves. i specifically remember encouraging a young high school graduate to apply for a prison job and he refused . so there are opportunities and the young Dominican men just refuse to put themselves out there . i gather they feel better being inside the bars rather than standing outside it

  23. July 18, 2016

    The youth need jobs and opportunities. This administration not giving this.

    • on your deng deng
      July 19, 2016

      The youth can create their own jobs and opportunities. Be constructive and put your talents to good use. come together and work together. These values are out the window these days.

  24. MIA
    July 18, 2016

    The Young offenders are there for a reason and the reason is they broke the law, We need to have some constructive program running so that when they arrive at the prison they can be enroll in such program.
    I also think its time to relocate the prison which will make it harder for the people that is sending drugs and other illegal goods over the fence for prisoners and its a shame (At present, there are 11 inmates in the security block and they are using a pail to dispose of human waste.) In this day and age, our system sound and look like its 200 year old, wow that’s sad…………

    • 3 Women in prison
      July 18, 2016

      Skerrit should donate some of those toilets he had making pappy show to the prison. :lol:

  25. Markaberry
    July 18, 2016

    ya’ll wanna make those prisoners tooo comfortable. Prison isnt a hotel where you go to vacation for some time. Thats why when they come out they have no problem going back in. Prison is hard time where you go to reflect and figure out how you gonna change your life.

    • 3 Women in prison
      July 18, 2016

      I agree, but they should be kept productive and mentally healthy.

    • Favoured
      July 19, 2016

      Pray that you don’t up there life is strange; just like the grave up s not for one set only so to is prison. Never say never brother.

  26. MUDD
    July 18, 2016

    How in Gods name in this present century there isn’t any toilet in the Security Block of the prison. This reminds me of the movie “Life” with Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence. hahaha :lol:

  27. July 18, 2016

    Where do I apply?.

  28. Only 3 women in prison
    July 18, 2016

    3 women in jail lmfao!! Then man want to come and say woman is the problem. 208 men and 3 women lmao and what they up there for nuh? :lol: :lol:

    • Boss man
      July 20, 2016

      Go and find out

  29. oh Yes
    July 18, 2016

    This status report raises many issues including sanitation, human rights, the potential security compromise etc. These need immediate attention from the powers-that-be. A true and complete audit of the human resource, physical and long’term requirements of the prison need yo take place. My God!

  30. JahGuide
    July 18, 2016

    No CAMERAS @ the prison?

  31. peeping
    July 18, 2016

    Good story DNO Keep it up and hey, by the way its not amount of offenders. Its the number of young offenders We need to have a separate correctional fasciilty for young offenders in Dominica. When they get up there they come out messed up sometimes. yack! They should not be mixed with hardened criminals

  32. %
    July 18, 2016

    This DLP regime fritters money away in so many reckless ways,why not construct a facility for the young offenders to SERVE THEIR TIME,but at the same time leave with the capacity and ability to reintegrate into society?
    These are THE SAME YOUNG PEOPLE the wickeds in the DLP pretended to love before election.Have they abandoned them????That’s why the youthful population out there has to be careful of evil people who come to them BEARING GIFTS!!!!!

  33. Shaka Zulu
    July 18, 2016

    As long as a drug addict thinks he/she is fine or a lunatic feels he/she is normal he/she will never heal. As long as Dominicans dont think we are screwed up and our country is in a mess we will never heal. We will be going down the next level. Thats all folks.

    • 3 Women in prison
      July 18, 2016

      Is it even worth it to add she? There are basically no women in prison.

  34. peeping
    July 18, 2016

    Good story DNO. Keep it up Oh by the way its not the amount of offenders, its the number of young offenders. How we speak so we write in DA but lets think of the people outside of DA. Amount has to do with water, sugar, flouer time, things you cannot count.

  35. on your deng deng
    July 18, 2016

    so wait, in 2016, there are no toilets at the State Prison? are you flipping kidding me? where are the human rights activists? from what i heard rodents run freely in and out of cells also. What is the purpose of prison? to punish to rehabilitate? i think the entire concept of prison needs to be rethought, especially here in dominica. what happens to the prisoners if there is catastrophic disaster? where will they be put?

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