With over one thousand inmates at the Belize Central Prison, the Chief Executive Officer, Virgilio Murillo, gave a breakdown of the statistics at the institution.
Virgilio Murillo CEO Kolbe Foundation: “We will have roughly 1200 other inmates, regular inmates, either remaded or convicted.”
Jose Sanchez: “and the difference between the regular inmates and those on remand?”
Virgilio Murillo CEO Kolbe Foundation: “You have about 470 remanded inmates currently. As of the 30th we had 507 but out of that one is detianess so it would be 450 there about.
Jose Sanchez: Just go over it again as in to relation what it is?
Virgilio Murillo CEO Kolbe Foundation: “As of the 30th of September we had 507 total that would pretty much fit under the remanded statues inclusive of the 51 detainees so that puts you at roughly 460.”
Jose Sanchez: “ and when you are looking at those who are convicted, how many of them did you have in different programs whether it is education wise or in terms of rehabilitation?
Virgilio Murillo CEO Kolbe Foundation: “ I would put it out of the 749 I would put it at more than half. The revistism definitely continues to be down, that last time we did a check it was around 7 and 10% so we do see where the programs offered here are being very effective. I was looking at the statistics, right now in Belize we see a spike in robberies and burglaries. I can tell you that we do not see people who have left prison coming back regularly, we are seeing new faces, brand spanking new people committing these crimes or being accused of committing these crimes.”
Jose Sanchez: “That is also an issue but in terms of those who come in back, are you seeing them for particular crimes whether it may be a crime of attempted murder over something like drug abuse, what are you seeing?”
Virgilio Murillo CEO Kolbe Foundation: “The revistism is mainly with the crime of dishonesty, the one or two that comes back, the repeat offender if you want to call it that. Their crime will always be either theft, robbery or burglary and like I tell you it’s very minimal, we did a check the other day and it is down to like anywhere between 7 and 10% just to be on the safe side.”
Jose Sanchez: “The main concern I know is that while that rate is going down there is still new faces and there will be more why do you think?”
Virgilio Murillo CEO Kolbe Foundation: “Lack of jobs, lack of opportunities, that is their cry, everytime they are brought to the prisons this is their plight. Well you know I am going to school and I needed to pay a fee and I didnt have the money so I took a chance so these are some of the stories they share with us, its very sad.”
While these men and women are incarcerated and perhaps counting down the days to their freedom, this one young man from the city’s streets who was recently imprisoned for the 30-day period, spoke to Reporter Jose Sanchez on the challenges they personally experience.