Pressure Mounts on Minister Wilfred Abrahams to Resign

I emailed Minister Abrahams the following, I am hoping that he receives many hundreds:


Minister Wilfred Abrahams,


You have failed to protect the vulnerable girls at GIS by removing all the staff who are implicated in the systematic torture of children by routinely incarcerating them naked in a bare concrete cell for days and weeks on end.

This treatment was contrary to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. It was also in breach of Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

I understand that you have ordered that such torture not be repeated, but you have left the torturers in charge of the institution and you have left vulnerable girls in their charge. Furthermore, you have publicly stated that you have confidence in the staff who inflicted these inhuman and degrading assaults on vulnerable children.

Your catastrophic error of judgement has made me deeply ashamed of my Government.

You have left me no choice but to insist on your immediate resignation from your position as Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Thompson

416 comments

  • Sweet Sunday Sermon
    I am certain that when the Good Lord looks at what we have done to his creation, he just play himself some blues….
    Have a great day

    Like

  • @ The O Gazerts

    We need more blues man so can u keep on keeping it on thanx

    Like

  • Human rights group on GIS matter
    A human rights group has started investigations into allegations surrounding the treatment of wards at the Government Industrial School (GIS).
    Attorney Kashka Hemans, of Caribbean Lawyers for Social Justice (CariBono) told the Sunday Sun they were extremely concerned about the controversy surrounding the reform school.
    “In my capacity as team leader of the Clinics Working Group of CARIBONO, the allegations raised about GIS are of concern to us and we have begun work to ensure that the human rights of the residents of GIS are realised and that justice is served,” he said.
    “Caribono has been tracking the issue of juvenile justice reform with our members and partners working on the issue throughout the region, and the experiences which have been shared in Barbados are likewise concerning and troubling.
    “We believe there is a core obligation for attorneys to step up and to address inadequately served populations. This includes those deprived of their liberty, particularly children in contact with the law who are often children in need of care.”
    The group initially became involved in the GIS situation after they were contacted by a father, whose 14-year-old daughter absconded the Barrow’s, St Lucy reform school last October, following an incident where she was allegedly beaten by two members of staff and then placed in a solitary confinement cell.
    The man had told this newspaper that he was informed the child was kicked in her stomach and dragged across the floor. That child is still on the run.
    Parents as well as children who attended the school have complained about fights at the institution, the poor quality of food, being placed in cells for prolonged periods, and emotional, physical and even sexual abuse.
    Recent public outcry arose following reports published by this newspaper of a 14-year-old girl who was placed naked in a solitary confinement cell.
    Caribono is a network of lawyers and advocates in the Caribbean whose mission is to facilitate access to justice for members of the community in situations of vulnerability.
    Hemans outlined its core values as inclusion, equality for all and fairness. ( MB)

    Source: Nation

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  • Rename and refocus GIS
    By Cephus Sealey
    I am offering a perspective on the current crisis facing the Government Industrial School (GIS). I was a psychologist (registered) associated with the school for over ten years before my retirement in 2016.
    I have completed psychological assessments, provided counselling and crisis counselling, run predischarge groups with parents and residents, provided pre-discharge drug abuse counselling and forwarded reports on staff identified as disrupting residents’ psyche due to their negative interventions and where personality clashes between staff and residents existed.
    The GIS must be viewed as a place to rehabilitate its residents or perpetuate punishment. The recent board member who deviated from the apparent custom of turning the other ear and accepting practices of old in the manner in which children are treated from admission to discharge must be commended.
    She at least didn’t lose her job like the two female staff members who, though unsupported, spoke out two or more years ago about practising lesbianism among the residents at the facility and ended up unemployed.
    Efforts to create a place of rehabilitation under the former principal Mr [Erwin] Leacock were thwarted. He managed the school in many respects as he found it. Staff without formal youth care education made up the body of people providing explicit control of the residents.
    Special education criteria
    Staff values, therefore, became the driving force in controlling the residents. Even the certified teachers of education seemed to lack the special education criteria to offer support to the staff they were in daily contact with. In fact, teachers were on rotating shifts supervising the residents alongside such staff.
    There were also students who had their field placement in bachelor’s or master’s degrees who ended up becoming staff. In fact, some master’s students in social work and psychology science were supervised by senior people who were unqualified to offer such supervision.
    When under these circumstances one then becomes a staff member, what related expertise was being offered in the care of residents? Fall into line with what you see.
    Again, personal values dictate your interaction with the residents. I never experienced any staff with questions or new initiatives to break the cycle of old ways of caring for residents. At no time did staff seek out how to work effectively with the residents. Mr Leacock brought on board professionals for the benefit of the residents.
    The structure of the programme at GIS was controlled by staff who came and found it, practised it and passed it on to new staff or students.
    Traditional ways
    Rehabilitation is an elusive dream under the current structure enforced at GIS. Past boards seem to have bought into the traditional ways of the schools’ operation and accepted the treatment given to the residents.
    Serious-minded board members would have been apprised of the level of control versus therapeutic interventions by staff and seek ways of upgrading GIS. Schools such as Centennial College, Sheridan College and George Brown College in Toronto offer qualifications as youth worker.
    I know this only too well as I began my career as a youth worker. Such graduates are the most suitable to carry forward GIS as an appropriate institution to care for delinquents.
    The name GIS and the structure it brought for the caring of its residents must change as it has long outlived its purpose. Let’s consider a name change to “Barbados Juvenile Centre of Rehabilitation” – an idea with an absolute purpose.
    This would, therefore, mean the programme would be managed by an experienced psychologist who brings a heavy institutional treatment emphasis and all the other requirements to be the successful candidate. This approach would no doubt require an outside applicant and youth workers.
    Without a change from top to bottom, no new board can expect to see tangible change within an operation. What’s to be said about [lawyer] Michelle Russell’s treatment by a senior staff member, who was then undermined by the principal? Where was the psychology in the response by the senior to Ms Russell?
    I am pleased the issue of the adolescent sleeping naked on the cold concrete was so highlighted. One can only wonder how many others have had similar experiences which were securely placed under the carpet.
    Many thanks to this member of special staff for letting Barbados know of this pattern of abuse, in spite of no one being suspended or penalised for this horrific action.
    Let it be understood that a child becoming a danger to self or others is in a progressive state of emotional crisis. What professional services did this child receive at the point of first crying out for help?
    Once deemed to be suicidal and admitted to psychiatric care, she would only then be discharged upon a high degree of mental stability with a treatment plan.
    If this adolescent returned to GIS and had to be placed in a cell and stripped naked, that was against all treatment practices since she should not have returned still entertaining suicidal ideation.
    Who then violated her rights? This is inhumane, cold, heinous, callous treatment by people who do not belong on GIS staff to care for residents.
    Was the acting principal advised of this action? Did he condone it? Why did it take one staff member to create such a “stink” to have the naked child given a piece of clothing?
    Where was he in this serious decision-making? Thus, no clinical treatment was considered or utilised. Why did she not return to psychiatry if professionally assessed upon her return that she was again relapsing into suicidal ideation? For the benefit of society, “can a diamond emerge from the rough”?
    Rehabilitation versus punishment. While punishment is the standard used in GIS, my emphasis here is rehabilitation because of its long-term positive benefits and positive treatment implications.
    I refer to Council Of Europe, European Prison Rules, 1987. The purpose of the treatment of people in custody shall be such as to sustain their health and self-respect and, so far as the length of sentence permits, to develop their sense of responsibility and encourage those attitudes and skills that will assist them to return to society with the best chance of leading law-abiding and self-supporting lives after their release.
    Outlaw to citizen
    Rehabilitation facilitates transition. It changes the lives of residents. Transforms the school. Reduces the rate of recidivism. Informs and educate about consequences.
    Rehabilitation creates tensions between the new treatmentoriented and professional do-gooders whose wish is to remain proud and efficient control keepers.
    Punishment, the norm, lacks reasoning. As such, punitive measures are a shock to one’s physical and emotional wellbeing. Thereafter, punishment must become more extreme or severe to have the desired effect. Where stringent supervision is not in place, the abuse of power and control is the norm. This norm is then fiercely defended.
    What more are we waiting for at GIS? Admission to a cell. Instead of proven interventions at the point of crying out for help, a cell awaits you in crisis.
    The time is indeed right for the transformation from GIS to a rehabilitation centre. No more do-gooders and personal values or people perpetuating a system they came and found.
    Cephus Sealey holds a Master of Arts in psychology counselling with CAAPP2 (Florida Certification Board) and is coordinator of the Inmate Drug Rehabilitation Counselling Programme.

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  • “We believe there is a core obligation for attorneys to step up and to address inadequately served populations. This includes those deprived of their liberty, particularly children in contact with the law who are often children in need of care.”

    this is what the Barbados Bar Associatoin has failed to do since the 1940 establishment of the entity…they refuse to advocate for or defend the Black population’s right to liberty…justice and their own property…

    “Parents as well as children who attended the school have complained about fights at the institution, the poor quality of food, being placed in cells for prolonged periods, and emotional, physical and even sexual abuse.”

    both governments have gotten reports about this and refuse to address it to this day…they keep the torturers on taxpayer’s payroll….am sure most of hte staff are voting yardfowls, cousins neighbors etc…

    slave society Barbados filled with toxic leaders who are to be PURGED OUT OF BLACK LIVES.

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  • Cosmo…another perspective about the indoctrinating miseducation system….that helps keep these atrocities alive…and there is so much more, but all will be revealed with the fullness of time…so they better buckle up.

    “Preserving a prehistoric education system based on implantation of a false history, doctrine and misinformation that has been in a state of decline for the last two generations only serves to instill a sense of false pride and diminished self-confidence in those who know no better. People who, for hundreds of years were denied access to their true history and dynamic culture found themselves in a terminal social decline, and except for those who migrated, were exposed to minimal worldly experiences outside of manufactured comfort zones.” Copyright ⓒ 2021. All Rights Reserved.

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  • I agree wholeheartedly with this statement. It is time for an overhaul of the whole system and expand the consciousness of the people to reflect who they are… African.
    All will be revealed as the times go by about how deep all of this goes. This situation was just the begining, uncovering the reality of an island deemed to be paradise , “the gem of the Caribbean Sea.”

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  • “the gem of the Caribbean Sea.”

    that the ignorant, greedy, sellout and backward for leaders keep as a slave society.

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  • these are the types of WICKED GAMES sellout governments play with the population who elect them…we told yall that the FRAUDS did not legalize marijuana…they intend to criminalize the population and push the young into their prison industry…they NEVER meant to legalize..

    https://www.nationnews.com/2021/03/29/bill-not-legalise-weed/

    “The new Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Amendment Bill does not legalise the smoking of marijuana, Government Senator Damien Sands asserted in the Senate last Friday.

    The senator said there was a perception that the bill legalises marijuana use.

    “Marijuana is illegal today and even if it (the bill) is passed it will be illegal tomorrow,” the lawyer told the parliamentary session.

    “That needs to be made clear to the public,” he said.”

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  • “He said a Caribbean Community regional commission on law had found that cannabis marijuana legislation in the region was unnecessarily draconian and unjust. (HH).”

    the wicked don’t care as long as they criminalize the Black population…they torture children so this is nothing for them.

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  • There will be anything they would find under the Sun to jeprodize the youth. The show continues and we continue to watch. What next on episode 54 of Barbados: Neo Plantation Life? Find out next time on the next episode.
    Hmm “draconian” I wonder why he would use that of all words to describe that act? These beings show who they are and where their mind is at time and time again.
    As I said very soon justice will be served.

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  • Justice will be served, these savages think they can continue the miniturization of the Black population without consequences..hope they know there are those more determined than they are….draconian is the perfect word because of stubborn intent…..

    there is a surety from parents grandparents etc…that none of this be brought forward into the lives of current and future generations so the evil can prosper at their expense…these are the forces that parliament sellouts will have to go through…to achieve continuing a modern day slave industry, complete with child trafficking..

    ..Jamaica has 300 children missing and one was recently sighted in Barbados serving nasty sex tourism tourists….who descend on the island in droves to have sex with children etc…am sure the others are about somewhere….see how quickly she disappeared and no one knows where she is……we weren’t paying much attention to what the UN was saying about the human trafficking on the island….but now more info is becoming available…

    ….getting through just one of us is a challenge for them, just imagine an entire force of bloodline energy to contend with…..they will FACE JUSTICE…

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  • Their wickedness will be dealt with accordingly.
    I did not know about child trafficking , I only knew about prostitution. The more that comes to LIGHT because it cannot be hidden no longer. That and trafficking should be illegal in this country and the reason these acts are allowed to harness to energy to keep their messed up , quickly crumbling system afloat which is tumbling down as we engage.
    The energy is shifting here, only for the truth to be unveiled and soon things will occur. No longer will we watch as these beings decide to do whatever they like to keep this system with no foundation running that was built on nothing. The time is now for a change.

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  • Did the minister resign?
    Oops, there is a newer shiny object over there.
    Let’s go there and play.

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  • Is it over?

    Like

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