Rita Marley brings cheer to inmates

The widow of reggae legend Bob Marley visited the St Catherine facility in observance of International Women’s Day, and donated books, toiletries and clothing on behalf of her Rita Marley Foundation.

Her daughter, Serita Stewart, said her mother was moved to tears by a musical performance by a group of inmates.

“They gave emotional and entertaining renditions of gospel as well as secular songs. Nana Rita (Marley) was so moved she could hardly speak,” Stewart told the Jamaica Observer.

Stewart said the Marley matriarch is committed to have some of the songs recorded at one of the family’s studios in Kingston.

“We are now in the process of planning follow-up visits,” said Stewart, Rita Marley’s youngest daughter.

At the time of the visit, there were approximately 243 inmates at Fort Augusta, of which 61 are juveniles (12 to 17 years old). Five infants live there while five inmates are pregnant.

Administrators there say most of the inmates were sentenced for drug trafficking.

Superintendent Reuben Kelly, officer in charge of the state-run facility, introduced Marley and her entourage to the inmates at the chapel.

They were then taken on a tour of the home economics, beauty salon and bakery.

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