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JIS News

Jamaica’s correctional officers are to benefit from cross cultural training in the Bahamas, under a pilot project which will come on stream early next year.
Director of Human Resource Development and Training in the Department of Correctional Services, Patricia Bambury, told JIS News that the programme will last for six weeks and during the period, 12 correctional officers from Jamaica will visit the Bahamas, while the same number of personnel from the Bahamas will be in Jamaica.
She said that the exchange is in keeping with the Department’s objective of identifying, developing and training members of staff to upgrade their competencies and skills in all functional areas of the Department. The training is focused on areas such as justice, sex offender, inmate and drug abuse management.
According to Mrs. Bambury, 702 members of the Department benefited from 40 training sessions conducted from June to September at the University of the West Indies, the Management Institute for National Development and the Northern Caribbean University.
Additionally, 35 correctional officers have been exposed to international training programmes in countries such as St. Lucia, Barbados and the United Kingdom.
Managers have also been trained in business management and leadership, while there is a systematic search training course conducted by the Caribbean Search Centre at Twickenham Park in St. Catherine.Mrs. Bambury explained that officers ranging from recruits to superintendents undergo this training at least four times each year.
Of the 1,900 correctional officers on staff, Mrs. Bambury told JIS News that at least 80 per cent would have participated in the various training sessions.
“[Training] is very important because it develops their competency levels and their skills. It also assists them to manage the inmate population,” she explained, adding that it empowers them, improves their morale and upward mobility. She noted too that the training helps correctional officers to be able to impart counselling and guidance to wards and inmates.