JIS News

Thirty officers from the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) have completed a two-week course on techniques in systematic search procedures, using detection equipment.
Certificates were presented to the officers on Friday, (July 1) at a graduation ceremony held at the Caribbean Search Centre (CSC) at the Jamaica Police Academy in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine.
Gifts were also presented to Corporal Ivan Randall of the Richmond Farm Adult Correctional Centre and warder Charlene Brown-Hunt of the Horizon Adult Remand Centre for their outstanding performances during training.
Instructors from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Jamaica Defence Force and the Customs Department conducted training. This is the second batch of correctional officers to be trained by the CSC in 2005.
Giving an overview of the course, Senior Superintendent Paul Ferguson said the course curriculum covered a wide range of subjects including the introduction to search, planning, health and safety, introduction to search equipment, evidence awareness and the handling of exhibits. The course also focused on crime scene management and the systematic searches of motor vehicles, prisons and persons.
During their practical training exercise, Superintendent Ferguson said searches conducted by the graduates at a penal institution netted three cell phones, two knives, 39 cigarettes, 105 balls of ganja and some $28,107.
“This underscores the need for proper training in systematic search,” he added.
Meanwhile, Commissioner of Corrections Major Richard Reese informed that to date a total of 138 correctional officers had been trained at the Centre and deployed at various penal institutions islandwide.
According to Major Reese, the DSC has experienced “tremendous success” through the systematic search operations and contraband recovery programme.
“When we look at the techniques that are involved and the creativity that is used for the detection of contraband, one has to be really very good to make these detections,” he said, stating that, as a result, security at penal institutions has improved.
Major Reese said the DSC conducted four courses last year and there were plans to have a Search Advisors Course for senior correctional officers as well as members of the Caribbean Association of Corrections who have expressed an interest.
“We do training for other correctional centres in the Caribbean, so we will introduce the course to them,” he said.
Meanwhile, Major Reese said, a new initiative called a Music Rehabilitation Programme for inmates would begin at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre in downtown. “They will focus on positive values. They will be able to produce items of music, both for production and for broadcast and they will be able to use their musical talents, which sometimes are not fully utilised,” he said, adding that the programme would be done in collaboration with the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
Additionally, he said refurbishing work had begun on the New Broughton Sunset Rehabilitation Centre in Manchester that was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in September. He said work was being financed by the DCS in collaboration with the United Church of Jamaica and Grand Cayman.
“We have gone about 60 per cent in the last four weeks so we expect to reopen that facility shortly,” the Commissioner said.