Work part of rehabilitating prisoners

Work at the Her Majesty’s Prison is
a part of rehabilitation for inmates, according to Prison Information Manager
Ricardo Lashley.

Mr. Lashley added that in keeping
with Northward Prison’s guidelines, “All prisoners who participate in
purposeful activity will be paid. Those who refuse to participate will receive
no pay and unsatisfactory work will receive limited pay.”

Un-convicted prisoners may work if
they wish and are paid at the same rate as convicted prisoners.

Reserve party pay is available for
when a prisoner is willing to work but the prison cannot find suitable
labour/training for the individual.

Inmates on what is called the Basic
Unit do not receive any earnings.

All prisoners receive a wage of $6
for a week’s work, with $3 going toward pay and $3 going to compulsory saving.

The money can be spent, all or in
part, once a week in the prison canteen.

A pack of cigarettes at Northward
Prison costs $4.55. Mr. Lashley said the prison does not make profit on items
sold to prisoners and everything is sold at cost.

There are bonus rates calculated on
to the pay prisoners can earn, the highest of these being category F, which can
pay a prisoner as much as $18 bonus per week and is reserved for more skilled labourers.

This can allow some prisoners to
earn up to $24 per week.

Prisoners included in this category
are referred to as “skilled” and tend to be painters, tailors, maintenance, farm
work, external, and construction and kitchen jobs.

Many of the projects these men
undertake result in dog cages, rubbish bins and things of a household nature,
which are then sold to raise money for programmes at the prison.

Many of the prisoners also work on
jobs that are for a particular cause or community based, as the government can
take advantage of cheaper labour pool, said Mr. Lashley.

Unskilled workers include external
and internal grounds work and garbage.

They can earn up to $10 bonus per
week for their work, or in total $16 per week.

The other level of workers at
Northward Prison includes those called “semi skilled” workers. They work in the
laundry, with grow boxes and crafts and as cleaners.

A prisoner’s final pay is based on
work performance and behaviour. If the individual attends work and performs,
they will attract maximum pay.