Computer donation to prisons
The Penal Reform and Transformation Unit of the Ministry of Justice will distribute computers to prisons throughout Trinidad and Tobago for educational purposes.
This arrangement is one of a number of outcomes of the four-day International Conference on Penal Abolition (ICOPA 14), hosted by the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, from June 12 to 15.
Catherine Ali, coordinator of the l4th annual conference, held for the first time in Trinidad and Tobago, referred to the donation as "a concrete result of the conference, giving the opportunity for education, training and access to legal information to our prisoners."
The retired, but working, computers are to be donated by Australian non-governmental organisation Justice Action.
The conference saw locals and internationals exchanging and challenging ideas on penal abolitionism. Scholars and local practitioners revealed shortcomings in prevailing penal policy and explored alternative strategies.
ICOPA 14 ended with participants making requests and recommendations for continued dialogue, research and development of penal reform.
A request for "Conflict Management and Mediation Training" was also made by Pastors of the Caribbean, This, to enable provision of these services to prisons in T&T.
Criminology students from the UWI, the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago (COSTAATT) and the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) also agreed to meet at least twice a year to continue discussions.