KINGSTON — Local ex-offenders and deportees in need of a second chance will benefit from the opening of the refurbished Salvation Army William Chamberlain Adult Rehabilitation Centre (ARC), at Lyndhurst Road, Kingston.
The facility, renovated at a cost of some $13 million through a partnership between the governments of Jamaica, Canada and the United Kingdom (UK) and Scotia Bank Jamaica, will provide addiction recovery services and skills training in woodwork, to males in need of assistance.
The 20-bed rehab facility will also provide residence for deported males from any country, and medium term accommodation to a number of deportees.
Speaking at the opening ceremony on Thursday (June 30), Policy Manager in the Ministry of National Security’s Community Safety and Security Division, Sherianne Gray, said the facility was among projects under the $380 million Jamaica Reducing Re-offending Action Plan (JRRAP).
She explained that the overall objective of the programme is to provide rehabilitative support to offenders in Jamaica, and those deported from the UK, by helping the Department of Correctional Services become more effective in dealing with the behaviours of persons struggling to adapt to the Jamaican culture.
Under the programme, teams from the British High Commission and the Ministry of National Security, have worked together to improve the services available to deported migrants and ex-offenders. The aim is to reduce reoffending and address the high levels of crime and violence in the country, Miss Gray explained.
She pointed out that the Salvation Army William Chamberlain Adult Rehabilitation Centre, was the last facility to be opened under phase one of the programme. At the facility, the Salvation Army will offer drug treatment, skills training and spiritual enrichment.
The initiative also facilitates income generation through the thrift shop, and will include the participation of the Kencot Community, a targeted community under the Ministry of National Security’s social intervention programmes.
Miss Gray also thanked the governments of Canada and the UK for their continued partnership and assistance, in providing effective social intervention programmes for Jamaicans, particularly those returning home.
“Through this joint partnership, we have established transitional facilities with specialised services to assist with resettlement of deported migrants,” she said.
British High Commissioner, His Excellency Howard Drake, commented that the facility was a very good illustration of some of the work being in partnership with the governments of Jamaica and the UK.
He said that a lot of development work has been done by the UK, in partnership with Jamaica, and one area of particular interest to Jamaicans was the effective running of the correctional services.
“So, one of our programmes here is very much in line with helping Jamaica deal with Jamaican offenders,” he noted.
He said that the UK has worked with a number of organisations, like the Salvation Army, in helping Jamaicans get back on their feet. He commended the work of the Salvation Army in Jamaica, and globally, noting that it is a “remarkable institution.”
Canadian High Commissioner, His Excellency Stephen Hallihan, said that the main purpose of the newly refurbished facility was to give people in need, a second chance.
“Life gives all of us a first chance at pretty much everything we do, but sometimes life also deals us with a set of cards that’s pretty difficult to play. And I’m sure all of us, at one point or another, have needed a second chance,” he stated.
Mr. Hallihan said that the project is the latest chapter in the partnership between the Salvation Army and the governments of Jamaica and Canada.
By ATHALIAH REYNOLDS, JIS Reporter