JIS News

All children on remand are to be housed in a specially created Juvenile Remand Centre on Metcalfe Street, Denham Town, Kingston, by Christmas.
The Prime Minister, the Hon Bruce Golding, was given this assurance by officials of the Ministry of National Security during his tour of the location Wednesday afternoon (August 4).
The facility, which is a former adult remand centre, is currently under renovation and expansion.
Mr. Golding noted that the centre will allow Jamaica to better honour its human rights obligations, as children who are currently being held in adult facilities will be moved there.
Commissioner of Corrections, Lt. Col. Sean Prendergast, informed the Prime Minister that the $149 million project will have the capacity to house 208 boys and girls, and has facilities such as a farm, a covered multi-purpose court, classrooms, a library and a computer room.
Col. Prendegast said that the dormitories are more spacious than those in the facilities that now house children. There will also be adequate parking and meeting space for visitors, including lawyers and family members.
The centre will have standby generators, independent water systems, special sanitary facilities, fire escapes for the 4-storey buildings and also a medical facility.
Mr. Golding expressed his pleasure at the work accomplished so far by soldiers from the Engineer Regiment of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), under the command of Colonel David Cummings and Project Officer, Major Dervon Lewis.
He encouraged them to keep up the pace, so that the Department of Corrections can meet the Christmas deadline.
According to the Ministry of National Security, there are currently more than 100 children on remand.
The Prime Minister was accompanied on the tour by the Minister of National Security, the Hon Dwight Nelson, Commissioner of Corrections, Lt Col Sean Prendegast and Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington.
Mr. Golding announced a number of measures in the House of Representatives on March 2, to address the issue of adequate accommodation for children placed in custody of the State by the Courts. He was responding to the Report of the Commission of Enquiry into the May 22, 2009 tragedy at the Armadale Juvenile Correctional Centre, St. Ann, in which seven girls perished in a fire at the institution.

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