Former Armadale Ward Makes Appeal to Parents


A former ward of the Armadale Juvenile Centre in St. Ann, is making an appeal to the parents of children in juvenile facilities to take a more active role in the rehabilitation of their children.
Cassandra, who overcame a troubled past to become a teacher, wants the Department of Correctional Services to reach out to these parents and encourage them to be involved with their children and to support them.
She shared that many remandees have very little contact with their families while at juvenile detention facilities. “Even in my days, you have times when a juvenile comes there and throughout their entire stay they don’t get a visit,” she lamented in an interview with JIS News.
Cassandra believes that sometimes, a feeling of abandonment could lead to juveniles rebelling continuously. “I think they (Correctional Services) seriously need to appeal to the parents that they are very important for that child to make that change. Because if they don’t get a sense of belonging, then they will always feel left out,” she stated.
She also urged Jamaicans not to condemn or give up on juveniles in state facilities. “Give us a chance to prove ourselves. You will not get to know us unless you allow us to be ourselves,” she appealed.
“Sometimes it’s not just that you get up and want to be bad. Sometimes it’s the situation that you are placed in that causes you to. You have no choice, your hands are tied. So after all this, give us a chance to prove ourselves,” she said.
Cassandra was remanded at the centre from 2000 to 2002. At the time, she was a fourth form student at Ardenne High, who was deemed “out of control” and was placed at the facility by the courts.
Today, Cassandra is a 25-year old teacher, who is completing a Bachelor’s Degree at the Mico University College.

JIS Social