Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding paid tribute to the staff of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) at their awards dinner on October 27 in Kingston.
The Prime Minister said that it is a good thing to honour persons who had devoted their professional lives to critical areas of national life.
“Large organisations tend to become faceless. We don’t associate individuals with the service, the delivery and so on and very often, if one person does badly, we tend to use that in a broad brush kind of way to indict and stigmatise the entire service. Civil service gets a beating; correctional officers get a beating; police get a beating. That sort of broad, careless and reckless treatment does such an injustice to those who work hard. Those who were prepared to look at the correctional service and say ‘I am going to make a career out of this’..There are many people who come in passing through. They just want to spend a couple of years, get some experience, get some more things to put on their resume and then move on to somewhere else and that has not been fair to those persons who have said ‘now look, this is where I want to serve’.”
The institution of the year was awarded to the staff of the Tower Street Correctional Facility, Downtown Kingston with the runner-up being Fort Augusta Correctional Facility in St. Catherine. Best juvenile institution was dedicated to the staff of the St. Andrew Juvenile Remand Centre with the runner-up being the Rio Cobre facility for boys in St Catherine. The Commissioner’s Award was taken home by the Director of Planning Research and Evaluation, Iva Fairweather. The runner-up for this award was Senior House Mother for Rio Cobre, Blossom Wilson Saunders.