JIS News

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  • Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, says it could take up to a year for consultations to be completed, before a decision is made as to whether Jamaica will sign a Prison Transfer Agreement with the United Kingdom (UK).
  • The Minister was speaking at a Jamaica House media briefing, held at the Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday, October 7.
  • The Ministry of National Security engaged the UK Government in negotiations for over a year to secure a grant of £25 million towards the construction of a modern maximum security facility, contingent upon the signing of a Prisoner Transfer Agreement that was proposed by the UK Government.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, says it could take up to a year for consultations to be completed, before a decision is made as to whether Jamaica will sign a Prison Transfer Agreement with the United Kingdom (UK).

“We are realistically looking at another year before we could go through the Parliamentary process,” he said.

The Minister was speaking at a Jamaica House media briefing, held at the Office of the Prime Minister on Wednesday, October 7.

A Joint Select Committee of Parliament is to be established and will receive written and oral submissions on the issue from technical experts and all interested parties, including civil society and the Diaspora.

“We know this is a sensitive issue for the society, so we would want to allow for as much participation as possible, so that will take a few months. Assuming there is a positive outcome of that, taking all the issues into consideration….then we would have to bring a Bill to the House,” Mr. Bunting explained.

“If that is passed through the House and Senate, then we can move to negotiate a Prisoner Transfer Agreement, and also to finalise the design, the pricing and the construction contracts for the new prison,” he added.

The Ministry of National Security engaged the UK Government in negotiations for over a year to secure a grant of £25 million towards the construction of a modern maximum security facility, contingent upon the signing of a Prisoner Transfer Agreement that was proposed by the UK Government.

 

Only Jamaican citizens who would have been subject to deportation at the end of their sentences will be eligible for transfer to Jamaica.  United Kingdom citizens in Jamaican prisons will also be eligible for transfer to the UK.

The proposed purpose-built maximum security prison would accommodate between 1,500 and 2,000 inmates, and would effectively resolve the problems of overcrowding and undesirable conditions which now obtain at the Tower Street and St. Catherine Adult Correctional facilities.