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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Department of Correctional Services, as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations, hosted an exhibition of art and craft items done by inmates and wards from a cross section of correctional centres, at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre, on October 16.
  • Woodwork, preserves, paintings, spreads, cushions, cakes and other items were on display and for sale to persons who turned out for the event, dubbed: ‘Exposition 40’. The exhibition is also in recognition of October as Corrections Month.
  • Director of Rehabilitation, Vanna Lawrence, speaking at the opening ceremony, said through the support of civilian and uniformed staff, the Department of Correctional Services has been instructing inmates and wards in adult and juvenile institutions, in 30 skill areas.

The Department of Correctional Services, as part of its 40th anniversary celebrations, hosted an exhibition of art and craft items done by inmates and wards from a cross section of correctional centres, at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre, on October 16.

Woodwork, preserves, paintings, spreads, cushions, cakes and other items were on display and for sale to persons who turned out for the event, dubbed: ‘Exposition 40’. The exhibition is also in recognition of October as Corrections Month.

Director of Rehabilitation, Vanna Lawrence, speaking at the opening ceremony,  said through the support of civilian and uniformed staff, the Department of Correctional Services has been instructing inmates and wards in adult and juvenile institutions, in 30 skill areas.

These include: cabinetmaking, interior decorating, farming, welding, upholstering, cooking and tailoring.

“We continue to ensure that we keep to the cutting edge of what the market needs, because we are aware that when we release people, they need to be able to function in society,” she said.

Meanwhile, Commissioner of Corrections, Ina Hunter-Fairweather, said the organisation is being repositioned with the goal of improving systems and processes.

She explained that this is being done through a comprehensive strategy, which aims to: reduce the rate of reoffending; establish prison industries; strengthen probation aftercare services; and modernise correctional facilities.

“We have recorded numerous achievements in the rehabilitation of offenders to include a more diversified programme and certification in academic and vocational training. Several units have been established and they have all been designed to build staff capacity, to improve our operations and to improve correctional management,” she said.

Mrs. Hunter-Fairweather pointed out that the organisation has shifted from a punitive approach to one which places emphasis on the offender rather than the offence.

“Since 1975, the Department of Correctional Services has been rehabilitating offenders and we continue to have an important role in national security. In this our 40th year, amidst the challenges, we are proud of our contribution to nation building and we are excited about the plans for the future,” she said.

The exhibition is a precursor to a larger exposition to be hosted as part of the Department’s Sports Day at the Spanish Town Prison Oval, on Friday, October 23.

Mrs. Hunter-Fairweather told JIS News that plans are underway to establish a location where the items produced by inmates can be displayed for sale all year round.

“It is important that persons see the talents that are behind bars and see that they are gainfully employed by the demonstration of their skills. It’s part of a larger platform to say we must look at rehabilitation for its value to the individual and for a safe and secure society,” she said.