Mela fl-ahhar tfacca Mhallef jitkellem car u tond, ftit bid-delay imma tal-anqas bezaqa – is-sistema karcerarja taghna hija punittiva u full stop. Il-kuncett ‘riformatorju’ ffluxjat wahda tajba.
Naturalment ma nistghux nichdu li hemm staff tajjeb illum il-gurnata, specjalment f’ certa sezzjonijet. Il-livell gholi li ghandhom certa managers u anke d-Direttur, huma frieghi tajba f’ dan ir-regime fejn jista’ jinbet hafna aktar tajjeb.
Irridu pero’ nammettu li qed naghmlu bigillata!
Qed nitfghu kull ma jigi f’ idejna u nghafguh mal-genb tal-borma – u r-rizultat qed juri. Issa jekk ma wasalx iz-zmien biex nirriformaw ‘ir-riforma’ tal-Habs ma nafx meta dan ha jsehh!
Ghandi f’ mohhi li daqt nerggu nisimghu bil-Parlamentarju Franco Debono, li ha nghiduha kif inhi Alla hares ma kienx hu li holoq naqa’ mewg, ghax dan is-settur miexi bis-slow motion. Nafu li hemm chaos u donnu d-decizjoni biex niehdu azzjoni ddum gejja mitt sena. Irrisu nahsbu wasalx iz-zmien li tinbidel is-sistema tar-reklutagg tal-gwardjani u forsi anke li l-habs jigi pprivatizzat, apparti l-hafna legislazzjoni li trid tidhol fis-sehh illum qabel ghada.
ToM reports (my emphasis):
Harsh words by the court as Bickle is jailed for 12 years
Court suspects collusion by prison authorities and says Bickle must not shoulder the blame on her own:
Josette Bickle was this afternoon jailed for 12 years and fined €23,000 after she was convicted by a jury yesterday of having trafficked drugs in prison.
The sentence was delivered by Mr Justice Michael Mallia, who had very harsh words against the prison system, saying the court could not but suspect that there was collusion by the prison authorities with Bickle and she should not shoulder the blame for what had happened alone.
Delivering his sentence, Mr Justice Mallia said there was no doubt that this was a very serious case which undermined the institution which was meant to be a correctional facility.
The main concern of the court was the fact that Bickle could act in this way for two years under the eyes of the warders and officials of the prison. It was impossible that they did not know what was going on, more so when drug abuse took place in the cells and the smell spread to the corridors where the warders were.
The high number of visits allowed to Bickle as compared to the other prisoners, and her easy access to drugs could not but indicate collusion with the authorities.
The court said it was shocking to hear a witness say that drug availability was so easy that it was door-to-door.
This court suspected that this collusion extended beyond the precincts of the prisons since, despite the removal of the director, the problem was still there. Just recently, the National Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse had said that 41 per cent of prisoners were toxic dependant.
It was true that the prison could not be totally free of drugs but this was an institution which was supposed to have the highest level of security where everyone and everything was supposed to be searched. Yet this security had no impact, now and at a time of this case.
Mr Justice Mallia said the court could not but conclude that there was something seriously wrong – He hoped this was not a case where the situation was being tolerated in order to control the prisoners without increasing the warders.
The verdict, the court said, was not just against Bickle but against the system which allowed her free rein for such a long time. This was system which had failed and was not correctional. Prisoners who were relatively clean were at serious risk of ending up worse than when they were taken to prison.
Yet these prisoners had no choice as Malta had only one prison and until this matter was controlled, this would harm society.
It was clear that Bickle was not alone and she should not shoulder the blame on her own, the court said.
After the sentence was read out, Bickle was heard to say ‘I did not do that bad’. She also appeared to lift a hand in a wave at waiting photographersThe trial, which lasted three days, was characterised by shocking testimony that revealed what life was like behind bars and the extent to which inmates would go to get drugs.
An inmate described 40-year-old Ms Bickle, from Valletta, as the “queen” because of the way prison warders and inmates feared her and the power she held.
Jurors yesterday afternoon deliberated for two-and-a-half hours and found her guilty by eight votes to one of drug trafficking and aggravated possession. She did not contest the charge of relapsing.
In his submissions, defence lawyer Roberto Montalto asked the court to take into consideration a previous court judgement in 2005 where a certain Raymond Gerada, who was a prison warder, received a two-year jail term for trafficking drugs into prison.
This case, he said, was more serious than Ms Bickle’s because Mr Gerada was a warder.
He noted that her earnings over two years added to €6,000, which, were one to consider as being all made from drug trafficking, represented only a small amount of drugs over two years.
He asked why had the Attorney General, then Silvio Camilleri, allowed the case of Mr Gerada to be decided in the Magistrate’s Court when Ms Bickle’s case was heard by a jury.
Dr Jason Grima, who was representing the AG, said Ms Bickle’s case was a serious one and the prosecution was pushing for a life sentence.
Ms Bickle did a lot of damage to other prisoners through trafficking, she enjoyed the money she earned from the crime and it was common knowledge that it had become the norm that it was easier to get drugs in prison rather than outside.
- ‘Truth about laughing prisoner who wanted to look her best to be shot’ dailymail.co.uk (andrewazzopardi.org)
- Former Nazi hitman starts serving prison (news.smh.com.au)
- Gianella u l-Bews (andrewazzopardi.wordpress.com)