The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – On the Prevention of Corruption 2

The current official imperative to establish machinery to modernize the statute that criminalizes corruption in matters of state has seemingly not met with universal acclaim, if I am to judge from a number of responses to my offering in this space last Sunday.

While there are those who believe that corrupt behaviour among public officials merits the harshest punishment constitutionally possible, there are those who, while grudgingly accepting the “optics” of passing such a statute, nevertheless remain cynical as to its likely success in curbing such corruption, given the ingrained local culture of the weak or non-enforcement of many of our penal laws and the natural tendency towards corruption.

Last week, we concluded our discussion by noting that the text of the Bill in its present form, had failed to distinguish adequately between the Board of the Commission as identified in the First Schedule and the executive staff of the Commission itself, using the expression “Commission” to describe both. That there is such a distinction is fortified by the provision in Clause 8 (1) that

the Commission may, acting within the funds and resources available to it employ such officers and other employees as are required for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission; and retain the services of professional persons…..

Concomitantly, this provision may raise another moot point for the more cynical as to whether our anticipated level of future corruption merits the expenditure at this stage of the hefty fees likely to be billed by forensic auditors and of the wages of the financial and legal functionaries expected to be employed on the staff of the Commission. It remains at base a policy issue, I suppose, namely, what price are we prepared to pay to counter public corruption?

The designated functions of the Commission make it the repository and examiner for veracity of the relevant documentation pertaining to those declarations, statements and reports that the Bill mandates to be submitted by those persons in public life as defined. However, it has an even more critical core function at Clause 4 (1)(d)

to receive, inquire into and investigate any complaint or report of alleged contraventions of the Act or of the Code of Conduct; the acquisition by a member of the House of Assembly or the Senate of a prohibited interest; or an alleged offence under any Act that assigns responsibility for the investigation of offences to the Commission…

This police power of investigation granted to the Commission the Commission is untrammelled since in the exercise of its functions it “may not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority”, -Clause 4 (2)- except, of course, despite the absolute nature of this provision, to the canons of natural justice and it will arguably be subordinate to the courts.

Further, since by Clause 4 (1)(d), the Commission is empowered “to investigate any matter referred to in paragraph (d) [ex propio motu] on its own initiative, where the Commission is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for an investigation or inquiry”; this would preclude the need for the formal complaint that the local Force recently deemed necessary for it to initiate an investigation.

In addition, the Commission exercises a residuary regulatory function in relation to probity in public life, considering the effect of sub-sub-clauses (f) and (g) of Clause 4-

to examine the practices and procedures of public bodies in order to facilitate the discovery of corrupt practices, except where there is a statutory duty on any other person to perform that function;” and

to instruct, advise and assist the management of public bodies of any change in practices or procedures which may be necessary to reduce the occurrence of corrupt acts, except where there is a statutory duty on any other person to perform that function…”

Nor is the geographical reach of the Commission limited. Clause 6 entitles it to enter into compacts with local and foreign law enforcement agencies to assist it in carrying out its functions and the power to appoint and designate investigative officers granted by Clause 9 serves to convert it into what I would describe as an anti-corruption police force for officialdom.

The concentration of such awesome state power in the Commission should be jealously guarded and matters such as the mode of appointment of its members, their partisan political biases and their susceptibility to corrupt practices all assume prominence in this context. The mode of appointments, mainly by the Governor General after consultation with a specified authority is ostensibly reassuring, although as I noted last week, I am not immediately persuaded of the need for member of the clergy, the attorney at law or the two “partisan” advised appointments at (e) and (f) of paragraph 1of the First Schedule.

While I imagine that the nomination of a member of the clergy is a sop to religion as being the genesis of a morality that should be the antithesis of corrupt conduct, and that of the attorney at law an acknowledgement that the matter of criminalizing official corruption is essentially a matter of law, the two partisan appointments give the impression of a tawdry attempt to appear even-handed although, given the nature of the matter under discussion, it may be argued and is submitted that traditional politics ought not to play any role, either significant or at all.

It bears further remarking that the members of the Commission are afforded some security of tenure in that the removal of any of them for any of the specified causes requires the convening of a tribunal by the Governor General that shall consist of

(a) a judge of the Supreme Court;

(b) an attorney-at-law with at least 10 years’ standing whose name appears on the Roll of Attorneys-at-law pursuant to the Legal Profession Act, Cap. 370A; and

(c) one other person of high integrity and appropriate qualifications,
to inquire into the matter and report on the facts thereof to the Governor-General…”

and recommend to him whether the member ought to be removed.

The member is, understandably, given an opportunity to be heard in his or her own defence.

Next: Declarations of financial affairs

32 thoughts on “The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – On the Prevention of Corruption 2

  1. Dean Jeff you have carefully noted the possible “secret police” nature of this commission and as usual couched it diplomatically…..I fear it needs to be shouted loudly that unless the parameters of this commission are scrupulously constrained within the law that we will rue the day this legislation was enacted.

    I ask you what exactly does this mean: …“may not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority”, -Clause 4 (2)- except, of course, despite the absolute nature of this provision, to the canons of natural justice and it will arguably be subordinate to the courts.

    My query is posed in this context….I presume all enquires or searches of data conducted by the officers of the commission will have the sanction of a validly signed warrant?

    If so then why the preamble or narrative that “…may not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority”.

    I take guidance from the remarkable dispute ongoing in US re FISA warrants. In that situation despite the fact that a judge MUST approve and reaaprove any continued act sanctioned under the FISAsearch warrant there is an unholy political fracas on the merits of a “viable” investigation emanating from said warrants!

    How can our local folks withstand and avoid even worst destabalizing political fights when the commission really turns the screws on a corruption probe?

    I also fully agree with you re the appointed commissioners…why must there even be a semblance of politically connected appointees?

    We do need to be cynical because this legislation is a pappyshow…there are TOO MANY solid examples of how this can be done transparently and effectively but it seems the legislation is creating these legalise loop holes to twist the country into future confusion …are the pols truly intent on eradicating corruption or as you so diplomatically alluded to simply creating revenue centers for accounting, legal and related professionals!

    That surely is not your thesis but it’s the most viable one.

  2. The bill will fail.

    How can we expect so-called educated Barbadians to apply a complicated bill with many provisions when they are not able to maintain buses, sanitation trucks and to fix sewage at the same time?

    What is called rocket science in Bim is daily routine in many other nations.

  3. What is consistently coming through from the interactions so far from the Joint Select Committee is that the integrity legislation will be as effective as supporting legislation. In other words there must be a suit of laws to promote the transparency we desire in public sector and wider society.

  4. @ the Luminary Jeff Cumberbatch

    I had my first read (so i have 5 more to go) and will add my two cents worth to those more valuable words of de Pedantic Dribbler aka de Ingrunt Word.

    But before I go on this 2 hour drive to ?? I would just ask a question.

    How many of the 270,000 bajans and the 30,000 illegal Guyanese read this?

    And of those how many do you think understand its implications?

    And of that Venn subset how many of those really care?

    Are you with me Luminary?

    We come here and exasperate every Sunday on these issues ecclesiastical and weighty and certainly above my pay grade (why Enuff of Lorenzo duo dun tell me that I supposed to stick to aluminum over my head and conspiracy theories)

    But tell me why we do this?

    If we go down Broad Street tomorrow and rub shoulders with the common man do you think any one of them cares that you have spent so many hours perusing the 1933 Enabling Act for the Mao Ze Jong Regime?

    If we go to the men who killed that 27 year old resident in St Philip and started to recite any one of these clause do you think that it is going to pause them in their actions OR THE GROUP WHO ARE GOING TO DO THE RETRIBUTION KILLINGS?

    What are we doing oh luminary?

    Pause for a second and tell me why you do this kind sir when all around you the rest of the 1099 lawyers ARE SO SILENT!!!

  5. Dean what do you think of this?

    Dear Sir:

    Thank you for the opportunity to appear before the joint committee on Friday 7th September 2018. It is a mark of political maturity to allow the public to comment on bills that may affect them, before they are passed into law.

    It is important that legislation does what is intended, and prevents what is not intended, but which may be inadvertently allowed. To this end, the Integrity in Public Life bill was scrutinised to determine how vulnerable it was to having:

    Read FULL PRESENTATION made to the joint select committee in the Senate by Grenville Phillips and Kenneth Lewis.

  6. I ask you what exactly does this mean: …“may not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority”, -Clause 4 (2)- except, of course, despite the absolute nature of this provision, to the canons of natural justice and it will arguably be subordinate to the courts.

    @DPD, The courts tend to abhor the notion that there should be absolute authority possessed by any statutory entity. One way of regulating this is to hold that as a matter of public policy, it is not possible to exclude the jurisdiction of the courts, another is that it must be established that the body is acting within the four corners of its permitted jurisdiction, and even when it is so acting,, that it should act with administrative justice in making a determination. Hence the reference to natural justice…

  7. *But before I go on this 2 hour drive to ?? I would just ask a question.

    How many of the 270,000 bajans and the 30,000 illegal Guyanese read this?

    And of those how many do you think understand its implications?

    And of that Venn subset how many of those really care?

    Are you with me Luminary?

    @ Piece, fortunately this legislation goes not apply directly to most of those Bajans and Guyanese, fewer still will read and understand its import and even fewer will care. But that may be the case with most legislation generally. I doubt that many have even heard of the Frustrated Contracts Act or of the Occupiers Liability Act,,,that does not make them any less law.

  8. Pause for a second and tell me why you do this kind sir when all around you the rest of the 1099 lawyers ARE SO SILENT!!!

    @ Piece, it is a calling! A student once left this verse anonymously on my desk….

    And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do -Exodus 18:20.

  9. Dean what do you think of this?

    @ FC, I think it should have been vetted by an individual with legal training before it was presented…

  10. Thanks Jeff for the response.

    Could you also opine on how warrants to search would be handled re the investigating officers of the commission..or indeed would that even be a requirement….as noted I am using the context of the US FISA warrants (tho of course that’s different) in the broad sense of gaining proper sanctioned approval from the courts for what can be ticklish political issues.

    And re Mr Phiilips…his written comment in the linked doc goes directly to the earlier cynicism re revenue stream For professionals…he said:

    “Section 9.1 (Page 17): Since the scope of the Investigative Officer’s authority is very broad
    and deep, and he/she must rely on his/her discretion, it is important that the qualifications of such a person be specified. To reduce the risk of abuse by another administration, it is recommended that he/she be a chartered professional at the grade of Fellow (expert level).Fellows of professional bodies are normally invested in their professions and have complied with their Code of ethics for over a decade. Therefore, they are more likely to act in a fair, independent and unbiased manner. There is precedent for this. The government already specifies posts that require qualifications to the grade of Fellow of internationally recognised professional bodies (for example, the post of Actuary in the Exempt Insurance Act – CAP 308A)”

    WHY would an investigator of corrupt sctivity NEED to be a FELLOW…trained with sleuthing expertise to ferret out the misdeed surely but a FELLOW in his field. REALLY!

    Cynicism….and game, set, thiefing match…(ode to Serena🤣)

  11. Jeff Cumberbatch September 9, 2018 11:03 AM

    “@ Piece, it is a calling! A student once left this verse anonymously on my desk….
    And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do -Exodus 18:20.”






  12. I posted the below on GP blog. Posting it here for Jeff to see..

    Don’t let anyone encourage you to exchange harsh words with Jeff…
    Recognize a mixture of honey and poison.

    Keep your eyes on the political battle …”

  13. Simplest solution to fight corruption is make the assumption there will always be corruption wherever corruption is possible and everyone has to record everything they do and all work has been approved with supporting documents for it to be legal

    Every man wants a big fine car
    but with that alone they won’t reach far
    I am the kind of man who don’t put my trust in that
    The tide is high but I’m holding on
    I’m gonna be your number one
    number one

    Every man wants a big bank account
    but I’m satisfied with my little amount
    I am the kind of man who don’t put my trust in that

  14. @ Jeff at 11.03 AM

    I am reasonably sure that the anonymous student went on to be a top level lawyer. He indicated what the student needed to do as well…. id est ” to walk in the way.”

    @ FC at 12 noon.

    God, as as understood by you, did not ordain punishments and penalties , but the leaders of the chosen added some 330 regulations with punishments and penalties.

    Please take note of the 10th commandment which is a cover all summary of the previous 9 ” Thou shall not covet.” There is an element of corruption in covetousness, is there not?

  15. The Creator once said in explanation, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (Matthew 7)

    God’s intention is always for our benefit but we have to be ready to receive/hear/listen. He is eager to give us Good gifts. He will give us what we ask for and more: We after all are his children and he wants us to be joint heirs and live with Him.

    Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
    Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
    If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?(Matthew 7:9–11)

    If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
    But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering….
    (James 1:5–6)

  16. “Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom.” Clifford Stoll.

    I like this saying a lot it shows the levels we go through in learning anything. We may go to a university and they give us a whole lot of facts to learn so we can progress but those facts are just information and even if they begin to reach the level of knowledge they are far from the level of understanding. We meet people all the time who have graduated from university who have so much information and can talk up a storm but no understanding. This is not a criticism of the students it is an indictment of the professors who do not know how we learn and they teach “Dead Men’s Bones”. The dead ideologies leftist professors are so fond of, truly the blind leading the blind. They do not know how to get a man to think, ponder, question to get an answer for themselves they want you to think and behave the way they do, after all they are the professors, the learned ones, they have letters behind their names and sometimes they put on robes to show their Priest-craft and high position.

    Now that you understand that they cannot get you to understanding, only to a form of knowledge that is taught by wrote and regurgitated to get a degree. Why do people continue to revere them, they hinder a person’s real progress to keep themselves as the gurus. Real learning is not in a university it is available to all men, the world was constructed by God that with the use of a question, all may learn understanding and indeed be schooled by God. I do not want you to believe that university learning is bad as we learn the knowledge of those who have been before us in the university setting. They teach our best and brightest who we pay to be educated only with Dead’s Men Bones , never to reach farther to get understanding and then wisdom, because they do not know how but pretend they are the guardians of wisdom when in fact they play with and only to promote Dead Men’s Bones not the understanding of the individual. If we want to have really bright people coming from the university they must reach within themselves and take what they are taught and ask questions to take it to the next level.

    It is hard to go from knowledge to understanding; the magic that causes it is the use of questions. When we question the knowledge it can lead to enlightenment, even the word enlightenment shows that we all know of this, this brain of ours receiving light to bless our understanding the door of our mind being open and as we seek we find understanding.

    Understanding; Part 4: Questions
    Building on what we know
    Submitted by Freedom Crier

  17. There is a song that says that even the least have a story. Life has taught them to reason. Not to “learn by rote” for regurgitation but to learn for use and profit: which will bring further profit.

    That is why the current “most hated man” in the world can run rings around THE MOST EDUCATED.

    In his case a lot of the “Shine” has come off unlike a brand new cricket ball taken out of a box and he is REAL.

    Cave Hill CONTINUES TO forget that the glory of the game is between the bowler and the batsman — not the ball.

    So the ball gets knocked out of shape and the “shine” must come off for their to be a resolution of the conflict.

  18. Vincent Codrington September 9, 2018 3:24 PM
    @ FC Please take note of the 10th commandment which is a cover all summary of the previous 9 ” Thou shall not covet.”

    PLEASE NOTE THAT …. On These Two Commandments hang All the law and the Prophets…

    “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37–40).

    Many ordinances were instituted, many ways of dealing with each other, law of restitution, laws of health, laws to deal with wrong doers, punishment to metre out, they were taught of God how to set up a society, but not the one they left in Egypt, this was new and according to the way God wanted it. He schooled them in every way including how to delegate to get things done. (Through Jethro)

    20 And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.
    21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
    22 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. (Exodus 18:20–22)

    There was not a free nation on the earth at that time, there was not a nation that followed God as a nation, the covenant that the Israel had was that they had to be righteous to a man. No man could sin or all would suffer and all would suffer because of it. This was the Covenant they had to abide by. But the people who came from Egypt would not embraced the change so they had to die off and their children inherit the promise of the “promise land” The society they set up was the way God wanted it.

    Understanding; Part 6: Journeys
    Building on what we know
    Submitted by Freedom Crier

  19. Did you get a chance to view the contribution of Guyson Mayers and Verla Da peiza representing the DLP?

    Not as yet, David. I was out to lunch this afternoon. I shall revert as soon as I have done so!

  20. @ The Luminary Jeff Cumberbatch

    The people finally came and the ole man embarked and was transported to the destination as a dutiful visitor.

    Thank you for your response.

    To be led by the Work of the Father is a wonderful thing, it is hard when we lean unto our own understanding but it is easy when we follow him.

    Where we went there were two “sympathizers” who were aware of the ole man’s plight and when the moment came for a breaking away into smaller groups one asked me “why why dont i just capitulate and follow pattern/Cadogan”

    I pondered that for a while oh Luminary, imagine that de ole man paused contrary to my usual loquaciousness and then i responded.

    I said “It is not that I could not capitulate BUT I WOULD NOT KNOW HOW!”

    They both looked at me for a little while and before they asked the question I continued.

    “My mother and father were poor people but they were millionaires to me. what they both gave me was a resilience in myself that it does not know how to ammmmm keep quiet when I see a wrong being done, I HAVE TO SPEAK OUT”

    I just cant help it.

    The second chap asked if “I did not fear being killed for saying what i say or doing what i do?”

    I did not pause for that one and i said ” I am living on borrowed time ***, each breath is HIS BREATH and each morn is HIS MORN.

    Death, the first death WILL COME TO US ALL and de ole man has been in the vale of death many times, many many times, so that is not a concern of mine any more.”

    What concerns me IS THE JUDGEMENT, before either the reward OR THE SECOND DEATH.

    It is not the exile into an eternity outside of GOD i dread but the absence from the PRESENCE OF GOD.

    Both men shook their heads as is they understood but I know that neither did and few here will but when you arrive at that “conviction” where you see the ordinances that you are commanded to teach well then you dont really care what your fellow citizens say or do to the left or right of you.



  21. I was just making an observation as opposed to asking a question.

    Parity plural parities 1 : the quality or state of being equal or equivalent.

    I sat for a while and read your article a second time.

    You do write with such skill and interweave your verbs and nouns with such linguistic symphony that not a fellerr can come and say “Jeff Cumberbatch DOES NOT LIKE the Enablement Act of 1933.”

    Just plain facts, and observations arising from those facts, that cause the reader to stop and say “wait a minute”

    So was it for me, as i was reading this second time, and i came across the subcutaneous description of the Office of the Impotent Ombudsman. (Impotent is not in the official title de ole man put it in)

    But is appeared to me that this anticipated Commission subsumed his functions. And I wondered if he recognised that his moment cometh.

    But then, as it relates to the word “parity”, i wondered how this administration, WHILE THEY WERE ASSEMBLING THEIR BROWNSHIRTS, each with their powers plenipotentiary, if the salaries of these parties were going to be on par with that of the Impotent Ombudsman.

    Would they be similarly compensated for doing nothing of would they be paid using numbers that are pulled out of the head of Chairman Mia Mao?

    Big fees that she can now throw around, now that she has passed the hurdle of fooling the IMF about her austerity measures and 26 ministers and nuff czars..

    It is not really a question as you see.

    You are just causing me to think that’s all and voice my customary drivel as i read it through 3 more times.

  22. @ The Luminary Jeff Cumberbatch

    My third read has brought another observation to the fore

    You said and i quote “…The designated functions of the Commission make it the repository and examiner for veracity of the relevant documentation pertaining to those declarations, statements and reports that the Bill mandates to be submitted by those persons in public life as defined…”

    My focus is on “the veracity of the relevant documentation” or what I would call a “snapshot”.

    Now Luminary you know me to be convoluted in my reasoning so bear with this affliction just a moment.

    I will move quickly to the jugular on this one. Operation Fortitude was one of the deceptions that were used during WWII where inflatables were deployed extensibly to give the impression that the ground forces that were being amassed were going to be for an invasion point other than the real point.

    So what aerial and ground reconnaissance would have derived as “snapshots” (devoid of heat signatures of 2018) would have given a snapshot and a “veracity of the relevant information” THAT WAS NOT THE TRUTH!!

    Now de ole man would ask you this.

    Does it seem to you that, based on the optics (I like that word) that have accompanied this Enablement Act of 1933 (sorry that is a leading question, i watched Perry Mason last night, so i will change that part) this Integrity in Public Life Bill of 2018, does it appear that any such snapshot that provides any veracity of the documentation has been effected to date?

    Do you think that any such function that will verify “the veracity of the documentation” will be effected by this PR committee led by one Dale Marshall who is himself in the news?

    Do you think that at least a token examination of the veracity of the documentation by say the Barbados Revenue Authority would provide a snapshot of sorts so that (a) the assets of the parties would be known and (b) the BRA could effect their own functions on said assets TO SEE WHO HAS BEEN TEIFING FROM THE GoB and understating their incomes?

    Whuloss oh Luminary I sorry to be doing this but you see why de ole man does have to read your documents 5 times?

    I real slow…

  23. The worst kind of corruption is corruption of the mind. Here is a Bajan politician, a member of the ruling party, with a Hitlerite suggestion to execute people. Every time you think you have an idea of the stupidity of so-called educated Bajans, someone goes lower. This from Facebook:

    A Government backbencher, a medical doctor, is urging her fellow lawmakers to introduce lethal injection as a method of execution and abolish hanging.
    St Philip North MP Dr Sonia Browne told the House of Assembly this afternoon that hanging is antiquated and could also result in the condemned person’s suffering.
    The measure was one of a series of suggestions on the fate of prison convicts that the first-time MP made in debate on the Offences Against the Person (Amendment) Bill 2018, which the House later passed to abolish the mandatory death sentence.
    Dr Browne echoed the position of other legislators in the debate who insist that the death penalty itself must remain on the statute books for heinous murders.
    “The death penalty evokes emotions, anger, sadness, everything. Religion comes into it, upbringing comes into it . . . . The argument is not about the death penalty. But what I would say, is that we need to come out of the hanging thing. Hanging is antiquated and I see something there about suffering,” said Dr Browne, who is Chairman of Committees, adding that she once had a problem with the death penalty until she got to realize the nature of some of the homicides being committed.
    It was at this point that she suggested an alternative system of inflicting capital punishment.
    “There has to be a way . . . I believe something more progressive like the lethal injection where there is not one man to pull a lever and have to live with killing somebody for the rest of their lives, where there are a lot of automatic things.
    “I think that needs to come here. And it needs to come here and not get cobwebs. Too many people killing people and know . . . willfully . . . that they will sit in prison and enjoy the rest of their days,” said the MP for St Philip North.
    She also made the case for the introduction of parole, expressing concern that about two years ago a number of people were in prison for murder but “got let out and went and killed again. This is where the parole comes in, this is where the punishment that fits the crime comes in”.
    Without elaborating on the parole proposal, Dr Browne also spoke briefly on the issue of bail.
    “Apart from murder offences, we have to look at letting out people on bail who have committed these issues, these offences. I don’t think that people should be given bail and hence the process needs to be fast. Because in the cases of innocence you don’t want to keep somebody there for seven years before a case comes up,” she added.
    The conduct of the law courts and prisons did not escape her attention.
    Dr Browne told Parliament neither of these institutions must appear to be prejudicial.
    “The rich, the poor, White, Black, Indian, everybody should suffer the same fate if they do a crime they do the time or whatever punishment is meted out,” the bankbencher declared.
    She continued: “I think the Barbadians are being disappointed and disillusioned and think that only the poor Black people can suffer prison terms and be punished in this way.” She suggested that the rich and white appear to be getting off.
    She also argued that prison should be a place where going back should never enter a person’s mind.
    “Now that is not the case. I have met people that told me straight . . . ready to go to a fight . . . ‘Doc, I don’t mind, prison not made for animals. Doc, I don’t mind, I got friends in there.’ It has to be a place where when you go in, the punishment meted out to you, you have no idea or thought or even dream about going back to prison, and right now I cannot say for a fact that is the case,” the St Philip North MP told the Lower Chamber.
    She contended that inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison Dodds were now playing cards and dominoes rather than being put to work on the lands around the prison to grow food.
    “They have an expansive land area around Dodds Prison. In my mind the prison should be self-sufficient at least in food. There is too much land around Dodds that the prisoners cannot do agriculture. They used to it along the highway years ago. We have the debushing programme that the Government is trying its best to find money for . . . and there are prisoners up there playing cards and dominoes. Use them,” Dr Browne said, adding that this should be part of their punishment.

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