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Sep 30, 2022

Kolbe Foundation Reintroduces Visiting Justices Program at Prison

For the past fourteen years, the Belize Central Prison has not had a Visiting Justice Program to take concerns or complaints from inmates, but today, that program was reintroduced at the facility. Present for the brief ceremony were the Minister of Home Affairs, Kareem Musa and his C.E.O., Kevin Arthurs, who spoke to what the program affords inmates. Danny Madrid, a Senior Justice of the Peace, explained that there are sufficient justices who have committed themselves to serving in the capacity as Visiting Justice among the over two thousand J.P.’s in the country.


Kareem Musa

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs

“Today marks the accomplishment of another human rights commitment on our list of must-dos. It is with insistence that as a ministry we take each task in this job, not from the technical nor the legal, nor the institutional perspective, but always with a faithful focus on the human experience. By concentrating on the individual prisoner, the Visiting Justice Program will make a special contribution towards treating the prisoner as a person and not an unforgivable mistake.”


Kevin Arthurs

Kevin Arthurs, C.E.O., Ministry of Home Affairs

“The Prison Act sets out the empowerment of the Visiting Justices Board and it gives them deadlines and responsibilities and powers, which includes the ability to investigate, the ability to call up, to make reports. So it’s a very involved system that makes the prisoners feel – because you know, we overlook. The Minister said it today – part of what makes you human is the ability and the right to be heard and respected and for this process, I think it will allow prisoners to feel as though they’re people, and not what their mistakes are. We want them to get back into the society. We need a healthy Belize, we need a happy Belize and we think that it’s part of the process of getting Belize whole and healthy again.”


Danny Madrid

Danny Madrid, Senior Justice of the Peace

“We have a lot of JPs that are committed and want to do this because – it’s over two thousand and odd JPs right now and it’s growing because we’re getting new membership. And we’re getting people who are committed to the system, people who want to make a difference.”

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