Global Politics & Cultures (formerly Independent Thought & Freedom)
Episode 160

Crime and Punishment: Is the Norway Model applicable to Trinidad and Tobago? w/ Tom Eberhardt and Jayanti Lutchmedial

Kirk Meighoo published on

A Story Club: Global Politics S2 E6
streamed live on FB from the US (San Francisco), India (Dehra Dun) and Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, Thursdays 12pm EDT | 9am PDT | 9:30pm IST
repeated Friday on the UNC Network in Trinidad and Tobago 6pm AST

Crime rates vary widely from country to country. Trinidad and Tobago has sadly become one of the most murder-plagued countries in the world, measured on a per capita basis. This is like many of its Latin American neighbours and some of the other more violent, Caribbean countries, like Jamaica. Other Caribbean islands and Latin American countries, on the other hand, are remarkably murder-free.

The Netherlands, too, has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Tied to this is its unique prison system, which has prisoner reform and re-integration at the top of its agenda.

In the 1990s, violent crime in the US was reduced drastically by different crime prevention measures, most notably lead by Mayor Rudy Giuliani in NYC, who led the world's most impressive and important turnaround effort. So the right policy changes can have dramatic effects.

What are the various crime prevention measures undertaken in various countries? Can the success of models in the Netherlands, for example, be applied to Trinidad, which is a very different society in many ways?

Specifically, what is the prison situation like in Trinidad and Tobago and the Netherlands? What lessons might be learned? Is there anything that we have done right in Trinidad and Tobago that others might learn from?

Joining us this week to discuss these questions are Tom Eberhardt from Norway, and Jayanti Lutchmedial from Trinidad and Tobago.

Tom Eberhardt is the Governor of Bastøy Prison in Norway, known for being one of the most successful and humane prisons on the planet. Bastoy has a completely different model for their prison, with the focus being on rehabilitation.  

Jayanti Lutchmedial is a Senator in the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago. She was a former prosecutor in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and continues to practise as an Attorney-at-Law.

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