Ex-convicts of the Dominica State Prison speaks to secondary school students about life behind bars
Former ex convicts of the Dominica State Prison spoke to secondary school students about what they described as a frightful life behind prison bars.
Don Prosper of Wesley and Randolf Tyson and Donald Massicott both from the Community of Bataca shared their prison life experience with students of the Castle-Bruce Secondary School, yesterday morning, in an effort to discourage them from disobeying the law.
Randolf Tyson, a former employee of DBMC, who was convicted for manslaughter and was sentenced to ten (10) years in prison after the dreadful incident in 1995, said that his concern about the increase of crime and violence among the youth in his community, has prompted him to make himself available to speak to the students of the Castle-Bruce Secondary School.
“I would like to speak a little bit about the prison system, since this is a place that I would like everyone here to fear because it is not a nice place…the worst aspect of serving time in a prison cell is the stigma that is usually associated with it, since after you are released from prison no matter how educated may be or how many people might have adored you in the past, people will treat you differently.”
Meantime, Don Prosper of Wesley who was sentenced to four years imprisonment after stabbing one of his classmates with a knife in 2002 at the St. Andrews High School, advised the students to refrain from bringing weapons to school.
“I once used to attend school like each and every one of you here, I used to be like a normal school child but I ended up making a bad decision; one that I wouldn’t want any of you all to ever make,” warned Prosper.
He said that that awful incident changed his entire life, since after being released from prison he was unable to secure a decent job.
Although he is currently self employed as a farmer, the ex convict believes that his standard of living could have been much more better, had he not spent four years of his life behind bars.
On the other hand, Donald Massicott who was arrested over twenty-five (25) times highlighted the importance of the session, as he expressed dissatisfaction with some of the students who were jeering at the other ex convicts.
“Seeing all of you sitting here saddens me, given the fact that I am only 19 years old and is supposed to be at school…I remember the days when I wasn’t taking life seriously, everything was a joke for me as I treated life as a game and now I regret every second of it – disrespecting my parents, teachers and elders, smoking marijuana, wearing my pants beneath my waist and believing am cool.”
He said after wasting 19 years of his life leading his peers down the wrong path, he has decided to commit the remainder of his life to educate the youth on the dangers of disobeying the law.
In the interim, Corporal Thomas Coipel said that the Dominica Police Force will be conducting a series of similar sessions at various Secondary Schools on the island as they seek to alleviate the issue of crime and violence on the island.