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Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Zavia Mayne, says inmates’ participation in rehabilitation programmes in correctional facilities should be mandatory.
Minister Mayne made the comments while delivering the keynote address at the recent Passing Out Parade for the 82nd Intake of Correctional Officers last Friday (July 22). Minister Mayne said although the Department of Correctional Services is responsible for caring for and rehabilitating inmates, rehabilitation efforts also require input from Jamaica’s courts.
“The participation of inmates in rehabilitation programmes is, however, voluntary, and so we continue to urge the courts that as part of sentencing, to make orders for inmates to participate in suitable rehabilitation programmes,” Minister Mayne said.
He added that the 63 new correctional officers will help to protect the public from dangerous actors, deter crime and help carry out justice for those who have been wronged by criminal elements.
“The stability of this country and the safety of its citizens depend on a coordinated system of distinct agencies and entities that constitute the country’s security apparatus. Within this apparatus, the DCS is the State agency primarily concerned with correctional management – ensuring the department is run by competent, well-trained, highly motivated and disciplined staff,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister Mayne pointed out that during the last recruitment process, which spanned a total of 12 intensive weeks, a new curriculum design was implemented at the Carl Rattray Staff College in St. Ann, where correctional officers are trained.
“Carl Rattray has recently modernised its curriculum, and you are among the first recruits to benefit from this improved training. This means, from the Government’s perspective, we are looking to you to help carry DCS into the future, by advancing national security and bringing prestige to the profession of corrections,” Minister Mayne said.
Core areas of the new curriculum design include, but are not limited to, training in emergency response, systematic search techniques, use and application of defensive tactics, risk assessment and rehabilitation, coupled with courses on human rights and Jamaica’s legal framework, to include the penal and court systems.
The training was also offered in the areas of fire safety and prevention, narcotics, conflict resolution and emotional intelligence.
The 63 recruits who made up the 82nd intake comprised 58 males and five females, who participated in the Correctional Custodial Services Level-2 Training. The main focus of the training was on developing fundamental abilities, knowledge and attitudes that are essential for carrying out their jobs.