Survey of Individuals Deprived of Liberty: Caribbean 2016-2019: Barbados Country Report

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Apr 2020
King, Dana Michael; Vélez-Grajales, Viviana; Marmolejo, Lina
This report presents data from the first national prison survey conducted in Barbados. The data come from the 2018 Survey of Individuals Deprived of Liberty, a quantitative survey of 406 inmates (389 men and 17 women) at Her Majestys Prison (HMP) Dodds, the sole penal institution housing adult offenders. It brings to light a series of findings that may contradict common perceptions of incarcerated persons in Barbados. The overwhelming majority of prisoners are Bajan nationals, worked prior to being incarcerated and were satisfied with their salaries. It also illuminates striking correlations between family experiences and crime. The majority of respondents witnessed violence in their homes as children and re-ported having a family member that had been incarcerated. The correlations between crime, incarceration, and family experiences with violence are particularly concerning giv-en that more than 60 percent of respondents are parents themselves. Finally, the report highlights a number of concerns with the effectiveness of the criminal justice system, such as the quality and availability of legal representation, high levels of recidivism, and the lack of access to work or study opportunities or post-release job placement and housing sup-port to prepare inmates to successfully reintegrate into society upon leaving prison.