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Orel Leslie takes Belize Central Prison to court over ‘inhumane treatment’

He is accusing the prison of treating him inhumanely and not affording him his right to a fair trial. Today, a lawsuit brought against the Belize Central Prison by accused murderer, Orel Leslie was to be heard in the courtroom of Justice Courtenay Abel, however, the matter was adjourned. Leslie who is currently facing a murder re-trial was unable to make it to court this morning. After the brief court session, CEO of the Belize Central Prison, Virgilio Murillo, spoke to the media.

Virgilio Murillo C.E.O Belize Central Prison: One of the things that I want to say that in a prison there is offences that prisoners commit against what you call Prison Discipline. I should take the opportunity to say that in a prison it’s all about order and discipline and Orel Leslie pretty much was being sanctioned for violating prison rules and he has taken that and interpreted it to be one of violating his constitutional right by not affording him a fair trial. I am not a lawyer so I cannot speak to what he means when he says that all I know is that he violated prison rules and prisoners when they violate the prison rules they are disciplined under the Prisons Act. People go to prison for committing crimes or being accused of committing crimes. In a prison it is a very volatile place, we can’t have prisoners reach prison with a deviant behaviors and then they go to prison and continue to display deviant behaviors. You will agree with me that all over the world prisons are called Department of Corrections and if you understand the word corrections it means that you go there to get yourself corrected.  Whatever wrong you have done in society that cause you to end in prison, you shouldn’t go there and want to continue living the same kind of life. Prisons have an obligation to protect society against crime and we cannot play with discipline in a prison setting so when prisoners come to prison and break rules you have to discipline them and it boils down to discipline really, it doesn’t boil down to ill treatment, it doesn’t boil down to abuse, it boils down to discipline and I can say definitely that we see changes with people coming out of prison big time. I keep saying that at four years ago the prison population was at 1600, today we have 1350 prisoners’ on average. To me I don’t know if I have to say anymore to prove that the prison is working with respect to changing people.

Leslie is being represented by Attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd.

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