The Jamaican people continue to be deceived by the very people they put in place to look out for their interests.

Someone said to me recently that Jamaica may be too far gone. I could not concur or disagree as that is above my pay-grade. One thing is certain, it will be extremely difficult to turn around our country because of it’s lack of checks and balances, and a people who have for over fifty years been encouraged to break the laws by their own Government’s lethargy.

Governments have been put in place to take care of the affairs of nations since the beginning of recorded history. The primary responsibility of a nation’s leadership has been the security of their people.

As time progressed Governments have evolved into taking care of more of their citizens’ needs, though not at the expense of national security.

A policeman places markers at a crime scene – Image via jamaica-gleaner.com

The United States – the world’s second largest democracy (by population) designates a large part of its annual budget to its national security. That is a clear understanding of what government’s main role is.

Government has a right to lead, not through decree or pronouncements, but through legislation on which consensus has been arrived at. When government leads through that process and follow the laws like everyone else, the citizenry follow . It is through those processes that the governed acquiesces to the  dictates of those who govern.

If there is a perception that music being produced in prison is having negative consequences on the nation’s youth, the government should be leading the charge to ensure that-that does not happen.
Government further has a responsibility to ensure that there is nothing untoward happening in any of its arms which are against the greater good.

Even if recording is allowed as part of the rehabilitative process of inmates, there must be standards which preclude convicted felons (least of all murderers) from doing further harm to society through that supposed rehabilitative process. That’s common sense leadership if a country believes in the rule of law.
It goes without saying that the government would be attuned to ensuring that the interest of hundreds of thousands of innocent young minds take precedent over the rights of convicted murderers.

NOT SO IN JAMAICA

According to the Jamaica Observer: 

“state minister for national security, Senator Pearnel Charles Jnr, says he has asked a legal team and the Commissioner of Corrections Ina Hunter to provide a clear understanding of the interpretation of the laws and regulations governing the production of music in maximum security prisons.

Charles, in the meantime, said he is not in agreement with the recent suggestion by Hanna of the wholesale banning of the intellectual property of murder convicts. “It’s a very simplistic view to say you’re convicted, and you’re making this impact, so we are going to sensor your music. Remember, sometimes you may be the creator of the music and may have sold the rights to your music. That is why we have to have a clear and cogent discussion on several issues: banning somebody’s music because they are convicted, and banning music that arises from unauthorized recordings (which) wouldn’t be banning. That music is just illegal,” he said.”

If there is a case where a convicted criminal sold his music to someone else, then the thing to do is to plug that gap with legislation. Stop it from happening. It’s not too difficult to pass a law which ensures that no convicted criminal may benefit from the proceeds of anything he/she does whilst incarcerated.

There has been much support for this in Jamaica if social media responses on the issue can be used as a barometer. But even more importantly, the Government has a responsibility and a duty to pull the plug from any such recording as soon as there are allegations that it is doing damage to society.

But this goes even further than simply pulling the plug on the music of convicted felons. There should be no music with murderous or misogynist lyrics being played on public airwaves in the first place.
In my opinion, what Pearnel Charles Jr’s,  has shown by his statement, is that he is more concerned about protecting the rights of convicted murderers to perpetuate and promulgate misogynist, murder madness, than to protect the nations impressionable children.

How will there ever be a turn-around of the chaos and lawlessness in this country when those elected to lead have stridently abdicated their responsibility to do so? Why would a Junior Minister be asking down to legal teams and the commissioner of corrections what the protocols are?
Disallow the practice , period!

We have to have a clear and cogent discussion on several issues: banning somebody’s music because they are convicted, and banning music that arises from unauthorized recordings (which) wouldn’t be banning. That music is just illegal”. –  Said Charles a junior minister in the justice ministry and a lawyer.

You cannot make this up. This is the kind of leadership present in our country.
Jamaica averages over 100 murders each month leading many people to wonder how it is that a country which sells itself as a place where everything is all right, has been anything but.
Well there you have it, you determine whether this is leadership or is it pandering of the worst order to the worst elements in our country?

By Mike Beckles – Check out his blog HERE

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The Jamaican people continue to be deceived by the very people they put in place to look out for their interests.Someone said to me recently that Jamaica may be too far gone. I could not concur or disagree as that is above my pay-grade. One thing is certain, it will...

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