32 Correctional Officers to Benefit from Training

Photo: Melroy Sterling State Minister in the National Security Ministry, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. (2nd left), addresses the opening ceremony for a train-the-trainer programme for correctional officers at the Vocational Development Training Institute (VTDI) on Gordon Town Road, St. Andrew on March 20. Listening (from left) are Director Principal of the HEART Trust/NTA, Delize Williams; Senior Director Workforce Development Employment, HEART Trust/NTA, Denworth Finnikin; and Deputy Commissioner of Corrections with responsibility for Custodial Services, Joyce Stone.

Story Highlights

  • Thirty-two correctional officers will benefit from training scholarships totalling in excess of $1.2 million, which will equip them to deliver National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQ-J) programmes to inmates and wards in correctional facilities across the island.
  • State Minister in the National Security Ministry, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. said the objective is to “strengthen the capacity of (correctional) officers so that they become the ambassadors in transforming our inmates”.
  • The training is being facilitated under a December 2015 memorandum of understanding involving the Ministry of National Security, HEART Trust/NTA and the DCS.

Thirty-two correctional officers will benefit from training scholarships totalling in excess of $1.2 million, which will equip them to deliver National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQ-J) programmes to inmates and wards in correctional facilities across the island.

The scholarships were provided by the Vocational Training Development Institute (VTDI) under the HEART Trust/NTA’s Train-the-Trainer project.

As part of the programme, two training cohorts will be held, with the first 16 correctional officers attending for a week between March 20 and 24.

State Minister in the National Security Ministry, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. said the objective is to “strengthen the capacity of (correctional) officers so that they become the ambassadors in transforming our inmates”.

He was speaking at the opening ceremony for the programme at the VTDI’s Gordon Town Road campus in St. Andrew on March 20.

Senator Charles Jr noted that inmates and wards must be included in the vision of an educated Jamaica. He encouraged the participants to make use of the training, as they will be expected to impart what they have learnt.

Senator Charles Jr. appealed for Corporate Jamaica to come forward and offer support for programmes that can “unlock potential in the DCS”.

Deputy Commissioner of Corrections with responsibility for Custodial Services, Joyce Stone, said that approximately 3,700 inmates and wards, who are considered marginalised, will be impacted once the training of the correctional officers is completed.

“By training the (correctional) officers, the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) will achieve greater sustainability of its services, enabling them to improve the lives of the inmates,” she said.

Senior Lecturer and Educational Outreach Specialist at VTDI, Dr. Kornel Brown, said the participants in the train-the-trainer programme will be engaged in six modules.

“We will spend quality time getting folks to understand the three domains of learning – cognitive, affective and psychomotor… . We’ll be exposing them to competency-based training,” he informed.

At the end of the programme, participants will be awarded a competency-based certificate after being assessed.

The training is being facilitated under a December 2015 memorandum of understanding involving the Ministry of National Security, HEART Trust/NTA and the DCS.

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