JIS News

Nineteen Correctional Officers on Thursday (August 30), received grants valued at close to $1 million, to pursue tertiary level studies at various institutions across the island.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, which was held at the Medallion Hall Hotel in Kingston, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Gilbert Scott explained that the grant is in keeping with the two-year wage agreement that was signed between the Government of Jamaica and Jamaica Federation of Corrections (JEFEDCO) in November of last year.
Under the agreement, Correctional Officers not only received an increased in their salaries but they also got an opportunity to pursue tertiary level studies. Mr. Scott congratulated the correctional workers on receiving the educational grants, adding that they are well deserving as they play an important role in the judicial system.
“The core functions carried out by the team of correctional personnel are ranked among the most critical and integral within the criminal justice system of the country. The importance of the maintenance of law and order cannot be over-emphasized within the security apparatus of any country,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary further urged the Officers to use the knowledge that will be acquired from their studies to ensure that offenders are fully rehabilitated, so that they can make a meaningful contribution to the society upon their release.
“It is well known that the vast majority of criminals will be re-integrated within the society and must be re-integrated within their communities to live among law abiding citizens. A fundamental task of yours is to ensure that inmates while they are in our care and custody become as well-equipped as is possible and to be re-socialized,” he said. Meanwhile, Director of Industrial Relations Unit at the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Winston Scott urged the beneficiaries to ensure that the lessons learnt from their studies will be reflected in their attitudes.
“The training is aimed at changing individual behaviour, mind-set and interpersonal skills. It is hoped that when you have successful completed your courses that the changes in behaviour and attitudes along with your new skills will contribute in a positive way in influencing others within your organisation,” Mr. Scott said.
He challenged the beneficiaries to use the knowledge and skills that they will acquire to make a difference in their respective penal institutions. “Make a difference to your organizational goals, missions and visions through the utilization of the new skills and knowledge, and make a positive impact on your organisation effectiveness so that all of us in this country can benefit over time,” he urged. The Correctional Officers will pursue diploma and degree programmes at the Mico University, GC Foster College, Moneague Teachers College, the University of the West Indies, the University of Technology, Northern Caribbean University, and Portmore Community College.

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