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Fathers get 3 square meals @ HMP while children starve- Hon Maduro-Caines

– criticises the system of incarcerating delinquent fathers
Sixth District Representative Honourable Alvera Madura- Caines (R6) bemoans the fact that the judicial system allow fathers to be in prison enjoying three meals daily while their children struggle. Photo: VINO/File
The desire of Sixth District Representative Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines is that every father incarcerated at Her Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut for child support be put on work release as early as possible in order to provide for their child or children until their past due bill is paid off and his accumulating bills addressed. Photo: VINO/File
The desire of Sixth District Representative Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines is that every father incarcerated at Her Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut for child support be put on work release as early as possible in order to provide for their child or children until their past due bill is paid off and his accumulating bills addressed. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Female legislator in the House of Assembly (HoA) of the Virgin Islands (UK) Honourable Alvera Madura-Caines (R6) bemoans the fact that the judicial system allow fathers to be in prison enjoying three meals daily while their children struggle.

“Fathers up at Balsam Ghut (Her Majesty’s Prison) eating three square meals while his child is out here barely getting one meal. Everything is wrong with this picture, Madam Speaker,” Hon Maduro-Caines told the HoA on Thursday March 16, 2017.

The Sixth District Representative made that statement after rising to second the motion for the Child Maintenance and Access Act 2016, tabled in the HoA by Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Ronnie W. Skelton (AL).

Put imprisoned fathers on work release

“My desire is that every father incarcerated for child support should be put on work release as early as possible in order to provide for their child or children until their past due bill is paid off and his accumulating bills addressed,” she further said as she stressed the system must put things in place where delinquent fathers can have accumulating bills addressed.

However, she mulled fairness stating that she is glad that the bill addresses the issue of ‘paternity proof’.

“In everything we do, fairness and balance should always be present. So I am additionally glad to see a section providing for proof of paternity being a must before maintenance is issued to anyone.”

This was supported also by Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr The Hon Kedrick D. Pickering (R7) who noted that the issue of paternity should be addressed before the matter reaches the court of law. He put this as a rhetorical question to his colleague in the HoA when he asked, “Shouldn’t paternity be determined before it actually gets into the judicial system?”

He opined that having the issue of paternity proof reach the open court can cause embarrassment, damage to reputation and unnecessary expenses for persons “when their lives are on display. The test comes back negative that the DNA doesn’t match.”

50 incarcerated for child maintenance in 2016

Meanwhile, Honourable Skelton revealed to the territory via the HoA that there have been some 1,800 child maintenance cases in the records of the Magistrate’s Courts of the VI (UK), which he said is the tip of the iceberg when compared to the number of children affected because of parental neglect.

According to Hon Skelton, fifty persons were incarcerated for child maintenance in 2016, six of which are still locked up. This he said points to the fact that the imprisonment of parents who neglect their child/ren financially in no way fixes the problem.

“The term of imprisonment does not distinguish the debt and arrears accumulated when the defaulter is in prison.” He said that the bill seeks to ensure that, in addition to their moral obligation, each parent has a clear legal obligation to provide for and to participate in the upbringing of their child regardless of gender, role and marital status.

There were many concerns raised about the Bill, however, it is not clear what were adequately addressed in Committee Stage. The Bill was subsequently passed in the House of Assembly.

14 Responses to “Fathers get 3 square meals @ HMP while children starve- Hon Maduro-Caines”

  • word (18/03/2017, 13:00) Like (24) Dislike (1) Reply
    I'm saying this for years; it doesn't make sense sending people to prison. Garnish their salary, and if they aren't working let them show proof that they're actively looking for a job, etc, etc
    • Needs to be 50-50 (18/03/2017, 14:53) Like (23) Dislike (11) Reply
      A man and a woman did all these consenting acts together like an agreement a contract, Now pregnancy happens it's all the man's fault...How could this be fair..Child maintenance needs to be 50 - 50 straight up
      All we are doing with this one sided bias law is to encourage women to continue their irresponsible behavior..
      • fine (18/03/2017, 21:32) Like (7) Dislike (10) Reply
        Once it is 50....Cause you men out there want to be spreading yo all seed up and down the place and don't do jack....not even 50. Not even 10 for some. And how is it just encouraging the woman irresponsible behavior. Men know how it is and still up and down with Mary, Jenny and Susie. Now tell me if that using the right head. Da mek sense. Is that responsible???? Now talk dat.
        • @Fine (20/03/2017, 13:26) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
          Before you generalize note that 1). there are men out there taking care of business, 2). Nobody out here raping these women, so when you want to talk about the men who are "up and down spreading seeds" talk about the women who condone the behavior and consentingly lay down up under the same men. Let's not forget about 3). The women who leave the physical, financial, and emotional raising of their children to their parents, call for support and then turn around to use the finances on everything but.

          Once a woman has a child for a man and he isn't doing his part, instead of taking him to jail, use the flipping system. Why do we have a social security system here? Is one of the purpose not to keep track of people and their earnings?? The father must work somewhere so automatically deduct it from his wages and if he doesn't work, get him a job and automatically deduct it from their salary. The only option where jail works is if you lock up the father for not supporting his child/children, make him do maual labour for his sentence, and the wages made for his manual labour gets taken and given to his child/children.
  • Concern Citizen (18/03/2017, 13:40) Like (21) Dislike (3) Reply
    This is what we come to in these Islands? Laws have to tell you feed your child/children! When time for graduation you up front and center. Come on parents you can't loose by feeding the children. I thank God daily for my one child and for him to cover her with his blood.
  • Gender bias laws. (18/03/2017, 14:41) Like (10) Dislike (6) Reply
    Nonsense. You all make the laws... What happen when the mother get the money and the child / children still starve..Why social development don't look into the children well fare when money are paid to the Mother..How often they visit to check on the children..They just sit down with their anti men attitude and proposed the gender bias laws...
  • insider (18/03/2017, 14:47) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    some get four, as the same mothers bring food for them!
  • father (18/03/2017, 15:59) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    A lot of these mothers trying to keep the child from seeing or going to spend time with their father because of new boyfriend jealous or the chgrandmother of the child mother behaving coats if it was she that give birth to the child.
  • Real Talk (18/03/2017, 17:02) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Some of these mother's getting child support before you walk into rite way you see them in hazems buying most expensive weave .After that they out having lunch and dinner and child home eating crackers .They have on the latest clothes and most expensive hand bags and the child have on mash down shoes and dirty lunch bag and back packs .Talk bout uniform oh my dirty and wash out to the max .Wake up mother's child come first
  • Bohannon (18/03/2017, 21:23) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I once give my child mother a money order and she hit the freaking roof, but I never stop my actions in that regard. Child is 30 now and doing great.
  • wize up (19/03/2017, 03:21) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    my concern: some females take the payment issued for the child and spend those funds on herself:. Why would a female knowing make a child with a man that is not gainfully employed : parenting class should be tough in schools just as you have introduce financial services in schools: it is amazing how some females will have problems maintaining the one child but turns around and get 2 other children.
  • islander (19/03/2017, 19:54) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    This will test the new back benchers voices
  • Increase (20/03/2017, 12:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Here's an idea......why not increase the salaries of all women with children, wherever they are working so they do not have to depend on these deadbeat fathers who chose not to take care of their kids or decrease cost of living!!.....#Justmytwocents!
  • parma (20/03/2017, 15:28) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    My ex husband (we divorced due to his adultery found I had a boyfriend and said he could pay for our child and stopped paying. If he wasn't getting use of me then who was could pay. I feel this is a common feeling among men. To this day his family say I should have got over it, that's how men are. I feel this is a common feeling among women. Both are wrong. The child should not suffer no matter what the parents do.


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