Students step inside a prison cell during a tour of Her Majesty’s Prison last week. Photo: GIS

Class five students of the Willard Wheatley Primary School learned about life behind bars during a tour of Her Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut last week.

Almost 30 students along with their teachers met Prison Superintendent Charles Forbes and other senior prison officials during the May 22 tour, which included visits to an inmate’s cell, the central control booth, the laundry, the kitchen and the chapel, according to Government Information Services.

They also met inmates.

“I know sometimes that some of you might go to bed at 8 o’clock or 9 o’clock at night, and you are children,” said a female inmate. “Imagine, as an adult, an officer comes and locks you down at 8 o’clock at night. That is your bedtime in here.”

Another inmate said, “When you are in here you are locked away from your family. Once you are arrested, your mother, father, nobody can do anything to help you.”

The inmates urged the students to follow the law, according to GIS.

“Do not follow idle company,” one inmate advised. “You know right from wrong. Sometimes you will make a mistake but you have to take responsibility for your mistake even if you are given a second chance.”

The visit was part of the school’s tour of important institutions on Tortola, according to GIS.

Prison Sergeant Mario Christopher, HMP’s security manager, said the prison facilitated the request as part of its crime prevention and deterrent outreach initiative.