We at S.E.T are very excited about the Inmates Diaries project. Already we have recorded a few stories that will be published very soon. However, we are in the process of generating local interest in our project and so we are holding on to the stories for a bit longer in hopes of negotiating a cover story with one of our local newspapers. But before getting carried away, let me introduce you to the Inmate Dairies project.
Over the last two years, Jamaica with a population of 2.6 million has been branded internationally as the “murder capital” of the world. 2007 ended with over 1500 murders and this does not include other crimes such as rape and robberies which occur on a daily basis. Students Expressing truth (SET) is an inmate driven transformative program that has been successfully reducing the rate of recidivism in jamaica’s prisons through a reform of Jamaican society from its lowest level.
In order to drive this process, the SET Inmate Dairies project will allow inmates and ex-inmates to tell their stories so that a greater understanding of the experiences, social and economic conditions which compel them to engage in criminal activities can be recorded and utilised as an authoritative source for studying criminology and designing rehabilitative programmes regionally and internationally.
The inmates will primarily generate their own content with the training they have received through the S.E.T program. They will record and edit audio and video clips and these will be uploaded to our blog and accessed by the general public.
We have a lot of work to do but we are all very excited about the possibilities of this project. Not only will the Inmate Dairies position SET as the region’s leading source of information on the study of criminology but the inmates have been benefiting from the therapeutic effect of telling their stories and resulting in many taking responsibility for their actions. The stories will also reveal the impact of class divisions and the socio-economic realities of Jamaica.
We intend to use the interest generated from the Inmate Dairies project as a launchpad for a national school tour that will seek to involve schools, communities and coporate entities in the fight against crime and violence in Jamaica. We hope that you will benefit tremendously from our blog and feel free to ask questions or leave comments as they will be readily addressed.