JIS News

The Department of Correctional Services on Tuesday (March 17) launched its Inmates Work Programme 2009, with a two-day clean up in Portmore, St. Catherine.
The project, the 19th since the programme began, took place at the border between the Portmore Pines and Silverstone communities, which also borders the Silverstone Basic School. It is expected to cost about one-fifth of open market costs.
At the launch, Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Arthur Williams, told JIS News that he was satisfied with the role, function and effectiveness of the programme.
“I’m satisfied with this programme for a number of reasons. It has gained public acceptance, and it is of tremendous benefit to communities and to our educational institutions, because we have focused on schools,” he stated.
The Minister explained that the Portmore project was chosen following intense lobbying efforts on the part of the Mayor of the Municipality, Keith Hinds.
There were many projects competing for the services of the inmates, but Mayor Hinds insisted that the overgrown area posed a serious security threat to residents of the adjoining communities, as wrong doers preyed on them from the verges.
Mayor Hinds told JIS News that he has been encouraging other Councillors of the Municipality to use the programme and make significant savings. Close to $900,000 was saved on the current project, he said.
He told JIS News that there were several other ‘trouble spots’ that the Council is considering, and he would be making representations to the Ministry of National Security and the Correctional Services for their inclusion in the programme.
“We know the police stations are going to be getting some attention, and we’re in negotiation and looking around at some other projects, but we have to confer with the other Councillors to see what would be their intervention in these matters,” he told JIS News.
Principal of the Silverstone Basic School, Pauline Christian, said she was pleased with the bushing, as it would reduce the rodent population on the compound, and allow for another emergency exit, in the event of an evacuation of the school.

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