Olly Wolrond took in his surroundings on San Lucas Island and considered the Penal System:
The jetty where prisoners would arrive at San Lucas Prison
"In a perfect society, everyone must have access to swift and powerful justice without this there can be no socially just society. After all, what better way is there to make everyone equal than to hold them to the same just laws."
"It is the second condition of this justice that gives rise to a penal system. That is they must be powerful enough to punish crimes but it is a mark of a society how it deals with those that break it's codes. The horrific conditions we have heard about that existed at San Lucas prison reveal how the abuse of a penal system can lead to tragedy and lowered the gaolers to inhumane levels."
The renovated entrance to the prison compound
"In a truly socially just society incarceration must only be used if all other forms of sentence are exhausted or would not suffice. For example: restorative justice, education, rehabilitation and support for the perpetration of a crime are all more effective than incarceration, as the ultimate aim of a criminal legal system is to make sure it never breaks the codes of society again. If they can do that themselves, with help and guidance then brilliant but if not the taking of individuals liberty, a basic human right, is the last resort. This forcefully stops them from breaking society's rules and is applicable when they are judged to be too dangerous to be allowed back into a socially just society; their crime is too severe to escape punishment."
"Conversely, the penal system in a socially unjust society can be used to detain those who are trying to change society for the better, leading to prisoners of conscience. This is all too common and is occurring today in the world and it is an important consideration when thinking of social injustice in the world."
Alpha 5 at sunrise
Matt Heathcote on San Lucas Island and Social Justice
Holly peering into the well where men were put for up to 5 days in knee deep water as punishment
"When San Lucas closed in 1991, a new chapter began for social justice in Costa Rica. Allegations of brutality, torture and the failure to respect the basic needs of the individual prisoners meant that the island had no place in modern society. San Lucas portrayed the worst of humanity in how other humans treated fellow humans."
A section of one of the prison cells showing the nature of one of the gang's incarceration
"Nowadays 'The Island of the Lonely Men' represents a new chance for social justice to blossom through giving people the opportunity to bear witness and learn about the violations. Furthermore through redeveloping the prison via maintaining and creating new trails and educating visitors, we hope to promote the vision of a world where all humans maybe treated fairly and equally both before the law and each other, while receiving the basic essentials for a happy and fulfilling life."
All of the Alphas are doing really well, working hard and will be back at Fieldbase on the 21st February, so lots of updates to come.