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Oct 23, 2014

Inmates Give Back to Society

The area known as Rivera in Belmopan is one of the best creek-side recreation spots in the community – a perfect spot for swimming, hanging out, barbecues or just quality time with friends and family. But it’s also the perfect spot for breaking into vehicles while their owners are making use of the beautiful, tranquil setting. It’s been happening for years now, and many residents have actually stopped going there. So the Belmopan Police decided to step in and clear out the overgrown danger zone. They didn’t actually do it themselves, but got assistance from a work gang of inmates from the Belize Central Prison. It’s a little ironic if you look at it, because some of those inmates are actually incarcerated for similar crimes, but judging from the work done today, it was a good move. Superintendent Howell Gillett told News Five today that using inmates to work in the community is actually a form of rehabilitation.

 

Supt. Howell Gillett, O.C., Belmopan Police Formation

Howell Gillett

“We experienced some theft from motor vehicle and in one instance there was a robbery at the Rivera area. Unsuspecting people who go there to use the water to wash or swim or for whatever purpose were there and people would use the cover of the bushes to commit these crimes. So what we did was to partner with the Kolbe Foundation and they were very kind and generous to lend us some of the inmates from Kolbe and as you have seen from the photographs, a large area was cleared. We think strategically we are helping with the crime situation that has been occurring. So we’ve put other measures in place for that area, but this one I think will fortify those. Somebody ask this morning, but what the prisoners have to gain from this experience or this exposure. Well I can tell you readily that it is a form of rehabilitation to have them come back to the community to serve the community rather than being behind bars locked up for twenty-four hours per day; they are out serving the community. And who knows more than them about the clearing of these areas? So we are happy to have partnered with the Kolbe and much more work will be done with the use of these inmates. I have been guaranteed that by the administration that whenever time we need them, they will be able to come and partner with us to help clear these areas.”

 

As you saw from the footage, while cleaning out the area the inmates also found a large knife and several purses left behind by criminals making their escape with stolen goodies.

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