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PROFILE OF THE SENTENCED INMATES AT HER MAJESTYS PRISON FOX HILL, NASSAU, THE BAHAMASMs. Jessica Minnis Mrs. EThegra Symonette Mr. Michael Stevenson Mrs. Yvette Pintard Newry Mrs. Tonya Gibson
Purpose Of StudyDetermine the profile of the sentenced inmate at Her Majestys prison. More specifically, the focus was on identifying common characteristics of the inmate in the following areas: Demographics Background Criminal History and Involvement Prison Culture and Society Inmate Self Perceptions
Purpose Of Study Cont.Determine any significant similarities or differences in the profile of the inmates found in the present study with the studies by: The National Crime Commission in 1998; and The Research Unit, Her Majestys Prison in 2009.
Purpose Of Study Cont . Having knowledge of the profile of the inmate should contribute to understanding of the causes of crime and consequences of incarceration in The Bahamas. A clearer profile of the offender could enhance appropriate responses to crime and modify early intervention strategies.
Methodology The survey consisting of 84 questions was administered during the Spring Semester 2010. There were 783 sentenced inmates at the time of the study, and a purposive stratified random sample was used. The planned sample size was 400 inmates. 345 questionnaires were administered. 336 was the final sample of the study. The data were collected during the May July 2010.
Limitations Illiteracy challenges Surveys administered to inmates from other sources Administrative delays Security Issues Length of time in administering the survey
FindingsSelected findings: Demographics of the inmate Background Inmate self perceptions
Sample DistributionThe 336 participants in this study were drawn from: 46% Maximum Security 37% Medium Security 10% Minimum Security 5% Female Prison 2% Remand Centre
Demographics Of Sample Population 95% of respondents were male. 5% were female. 1% were transgender 44% of respondents were 20 30 years old 5% were under 19 years 37% were 31 45 years 13% were over 45 years 98% of respondents were Black. 1 % white. 1% Hispanic. 0.3% other race
Demographics Of Sample Population Cont. 80% of the respondents were single 12% were married 93% of the respondents were born in The Bahamas 3% were born in Jamaica 2% were born in Haiti 1% were born in America 54% of the respondents grew up in New Providence . 23% grew up in the Family Islands 17% grew up in Grand Bahama 6% grew up outside of The Bahamas
Place of ResidenceThe respondents who grew up in New Providence: 30% lived in the Grove area 27% in the Central area 15% lived in the South Eastern District of New Providence 11% in the North Eastern area
Mothers place of birth 82% The Bahamas 8% Haiti 5% Jamaica 3% Turks and Caicos 2% Other countries 1% Not known
Fathers Place of birth 81% The Bahamas 7% Haiti 5% Jamaica 4% Turks and Caicos 2% Other countries 1% Not known
Family household, while growing up 40% lived with their mother 36% lived with both parents 0.3% lived with father only 13% lived with their grandparents
School type Public school: 79% Some public and some private: 13% Private school: 8% 1% indicated no school
Highest Level of Education Completed 68% between 10th 12thgrade 18%: between 7th 9thgrade 6% : Some college education 4% : Technical/vocational training 2%: 6thgrade or less level of education
Failing at school54% had dropped out of school48% were expelled from school for: Fighting: 33% Bad behaviour: 22% Drugs: 11% Disrespect for authority: 8%
Reasons for dropping out of school Bad behaviour: 18% Had to work to support family: 18% Other reasons: 16% Did not like school: 14%
Recent Employment 62% were employed in semi skilled jobs 21% were employed in unskilled occupations 11% were employed in skilled occupations 4% were unemployed 1 % were employed in professional occupations
Duration of employment 45% were employed between 1 5years 33% were employed for less than a year 12% were employed between 6 10 years 10% were employed between 11+ years 1% were not employed
Place of Employment 73% were employed in the private sector 22% were self employed 5% were employed in the Government sector 0.3% indicated that they were unemployed
Primary source of Income prior to Incarceration 59% of the respondents were employed at the time of their incarceration 55% legal employment 15% Spouse/Family/Friends 11% Other source 7% Under the table 5% indicated that they had no income 3% National Insurance 2% Social Services 1% indicated drugs
Abuse or mistreatment 31% were abused or mistreated Person Who Committed the Abuse Parents/Guardians 47% Other 19% An adult living with them 11% A brother, girlfriend or teenager living with them 11%
Forms of Abuse Physical 42% Emotional 23% Neglect 19% Sexual 10%
Violence In The HomeEver Witnessed Violence in the Home:49% had witnessed violence in the homeType of Violence Witnessed in the Home: Physical 66% Emotional 18% Other 8% Sexual 5% Murder 3%
Person who committed the violence in the home Family Member: 62% Spouse/Partner: 17% Other ( e.g. stepfather, parents, mothers boyfriend): 13% Friend: 8%
Focus on1. What are some of the reasons you believe caused you to commit your crime? 2. What do you believe are the underlying causes of crime in The Bahamas?
Focus 1 Reasons given for their crime 247 inmates responded to the question 13 codes were deployed to categorize responses
40% Of RESPONDENTS INDICATED AN ECONOMIC REASON AS THE CAUSE OF THEIR CRIME.
Focus 2Underlying causes of crime 284 inmates responded to the question. 61 response categories were created to code the responses. 419 responses were coded. Many inmates indicated a combination of factors
Some of the response categories : Economic Education Gangs Government Lack of opportunity Neglect of youth Peer Association Institutional Labeling Envy Selfishness Lack of respect Supernatural Criminal records Self esteem Culture Drugs Laziness Revenge Conflict resolution Prison violence Anger Lack of will power Following fashion Poor leadership Class based selective enforcement
Key findings 34% of the responses indicated an aspect of the economy as the underlying cause of crime in The Bahamas. Consistent with the earlier finding of 40% of respondents who indicated an aspect of the economy as the cause of their crime.
Interpreting a response as an economic factor For the purposes of the study, an economic reason/factor was defined as any statement that (1) indicated any level of material want or needs; or (2) registered any concern about the means of attaining material wants or needs.
Inmate understanding of the economiccauses of crime Absolute Deprivation Relative Deprivation Deprivation that is capable of being measured with reference to a fixed minimal material standard or absolute threshold. Deprivation that is rooted in discontent that accompanies the experience of perceived inequality.
Of the 98 respondents who gave an economic response to the question concerning the cause of their crime, almost half expressed it in terms of absolute deprivation ; the other half in terms of relative deprivation.
ConclusionFurther lines of inquiry based on profile data: Economy and crime Restorative Justice possibilities Education policy regarding school discipline Gender and crime