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Aug 31, 2007

NICH marks 150 yr anniversary of H.M. Prison

Story PictureWhile several buildings in Belize City can claim rights as historical landmarks, this week Government officials took time out to celebrate a structure that has been transformed from the country’s prison into an interactive classroom. News Five’s Jacqueline Godwin reports.

Jacqueline Godwin, Reporting
One hundred and fifty years after Her Majesty’s Prison was built, the national Institute of Culture and History commemorated the institution’s anniversary.

Robert Orosco, Former inmate, HM Prison
“In my time here I observed that the key to everything is human behaviour must be captured, because of the effect. And if we conquer this we will find freedom and happiness.”

Fifty-five year old Robert Orosco is a former inmate of Her Majesty’s Prison who was asked to share his memories and experiences with the twenty-five inmates currently doing time at the Belize Central Prison.

Robert Orosco
“If I wanted something to eat, I’m going to steal it, if I needed money I’m going to take it away, and everything was just the wrong way. But when they sent me here, they say ‘we are sending you to prison for ten years’. And I got here and I started to realize that this is not the way to go because I won’t make it to see twenty-seven years.”

Conditions at Her Majesty’s prison were not ideal and according to the inmates, cannot be compared to how things are run in Hattiville, where the main focus is on creating humane environments to rehabilitate prisoners.

Jacqueline Godwin
“We are doing the interviews in what used to be one of the cells at the old prison.”

Robert Hulse, Museum Historian/Chief Guide
“ Yes, a cell eight by five, and we must remember that a cell was built for one man, but before the men evacuated a cell held an average—and the operative word is average—of eight men. Before 1993 when the men moved out, sometimes it help thirteen. There were no bathrooms, they were locked up in here most of the time, they slept with buckets.”

On July sixteenth, 1993, a fire destroyed much of her majesty’s prison and resulted in the inmates being relocated to the Belize Central Prison on the Boom-Hattiville road. In 1998, the building was handed over to NICH, who refurbished the structure. In 2002, it was reopened as the home of the Museum of Belize. Jacqueline Godwin for News Five.

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1 Response for “NICH marks 150 yr anniversary of H.M. Prison”

  1. ZITA FRANCISCO says:

    YES MY NAME IS ZITA FRANCISCO IM WRITING REGARDIND MY SON RAYMOND CACHO HE IS RIGHT NOW AT HATTIVLLE PRISON THE REASON IM WRITING THIS LETTER BECAUSE MY SON AARON PAID THE $825 PLUS COURT FEE AND THE COURT CLERK EDNA NEVER SUMMIT THE LETTER OR THE FAX TO THE PRISON MY SON WAS SUPPOSE TO BE OUT OF PRISON FROM THURSDAY 2/17/11 BUT HE HAVE TO SPEND ANOTHER4DAYS JUST BECAUSE EDNA THE COURT CLERK DID NOT DO HER JOB RIGHT RAYMOND SHOULD GET BACK SOME OF HIS MONEY BACK HE SPEND 4 MORE DAYS AFTER HE HAVE PAID HIS BAIL MONEY I JUST WANT HER TO NO IM A BELIZEAN AND I WIL SEE INTO THIS WHEN I GO TO BELIZE MY SON WOULD HAVE BEEN OUT OF THERE FROM THE 2/17/11 THURSDAY AND SHE LIED SHE TOLD MY DAUGHTER THAT SHE HAVE SEND OR FAX THE PAPER AND WHEN MY DAUGHTER CALL TO THE PRISON THEY TOLD HER THEY DID NOT REICEIVE ANY PAPER WORK FROM DANGRIGA COURT CLERK AND MY SON HAVE TO SPEND THE WEEKEND THERE JUST BECAUSE OF HER AND IM A BELIZEAN LIVING ABROAD FINALLY WHEN MY DAUGHTER KEEP AFTER HER SHE WNTS TO NO WHEN HER BROTHER WILL GET OUT OF PRISON THEN SHE WILL SAY MY DAUGHTER ASSAULT HER SHE IS A LIAR MY DAUGHTER WILL NOT DIRESPECT HER CAN SOMEONE MAIL ME BACK I WANT TO NO WHO TO CONTACT REGARDING THIS MATTER BECAUSE I WILL GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS WHEN I GO TO BELIZE IN MAY EMAIL ADDRESS ZITA FRAN@YAHOO.COM THANK YOU ZITA CIEGO FRANCISCO.

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