PM says JDF Working on Juvenile Detention Centres


Prime Minister Bruce Golding has disclosed plans to provide adequate accommodation for children placed in the custody of the State by the Courts, as well as those awaiting appearance before or determination by the Courts.
Last month, Mr. Golding advised the House of Representatives of plans to establish a new juvenile correctional centre to eliminate overcrowding, and a new remand centre for boys to avoid using police lock-ups.
He said that, after detailed evaluation by the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), which is undertaking the necessary works, it was decided that with the refurbishing of the Metcalfe Street Remand Centre in Kingston, which will have capacity for 250 children, it would no longer be necessary to utilize the former youth camp at Cape Clear, St. Mary.
He also stated that the site of the Copse Place of Safety, Hanover, would provide better and safer facilities as a correctional centre than Montpelier, St. James.
Mr. Golding, who was making his contribution to the 2010/11 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives Tuesday (April 20), stated that the refurbishing of the Metcalfe Street Remand Centre will cost $149 million, and Copse, $292 million. A sum of $274 million, included in the budget for Montpelier and Cape Clear, will be supplemented by a provision of $100 million under the Citizens Security & Justice Programme, as well as grant funds already identified.
He also stated that work has started at Metcalfe Street, and should be completed within four to five months. Work will also commence shortly on the new Juvenile Correctional Centre at Copse, which is expected to be completed within 18 months.
The Prime Minister’s announcement followed an enquiry into the fire at the Armadale Juvenile Correctional Centre in St. Ann, which occurred on May 22 last year, and took the lives of seven of the female wards. The enquiry was to determine the circumstances, which led to the fire, as well as to establish who should be held accountable for the tragedy.

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