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Britain to contribute 25M pounds to new prison

Featured UK Prime Minister David Cameron UK Prime Minister David Cameron
The Jamaican Gov't is under fire for signing a non-binding MOU with British Prime Minister David Cameron, which will see a 1500 cell jail being built in Jamaica with a partial contribution of twentyfive Million pounds by the government of the United Kingdom.

Under the arrangement some three hundred Jamaican prisoners will be repatriated to their homeland to serve their sentences in the new jail. In an article published by The Guardian newspaper, the British prime minister "will announce on Wednesday a deal with Jamaica to transfer prisoners to their country of citizenship without the need for their consent.

Under the terms of the agreement, Jamaican prisoners who have received sentences of four years or more, and who have more than 18 months left to serve, will be deported from 2020. It is expected this will apply to about 300 people at that date, when a new 1,500-bed prison in Jamaica has been built from development cash."

According to the Guardian, " The prisoner transfer agreement adds to deals that have been struck with Albania, Nigeria, Somaliland, Rwanda and Libya. However, the government considers an agreement with Jamaica particularly important because its citizens make up the third-largest prison population of foreign nationals.

There were more than 600 Jamaican citizens in UK jails as of June this year, with seven in 10 serving sentences related to drugs or violence.

Claiming the deal would save money in the long run, Cameron said: “It is absolutely right that foreign criminals who break our laws are properly punished but this shouldn’t be at the expense of the hardworking British taxpayer.

“That’s why this agreement is so important. It will mean Jamaican criminals are sent back home to serve their sentences, saving the British taxpayer millions of pounds but still ensuring justice is done,” the Guardian said.

National Security Minister Peter Bunting said this deal was a good opportunity to upgrade Jamaica's Prison system which has  its genesis in the 18th century and in which Jamaican prisoners were living in inhumage conditions. He said for years we have been talking about building a new and modern prison for Jamaica. However, there was a challenge as to where the financing would come from.

He said accepting prisoners from Britain would not be automatic, and be subject to judicial review. 

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