The Government has allocated some $10 million to boost activities under the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Local Offender and Deported Persons Programme.
As outlined in the 2013/14 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives, the programme seeks to: reduce the rate of re-offending among local offenders and deportees; improve the rehabilitation and reintegration of deportees and offenders in Jamaica; and establish emergency safety nets to receive deportees immediately on their return to the country.
It is also expected to provide services throughout Jamaica to help the reintegration of deportees and local offenders; contribute to the strengthening of the Jamaican government’s policy framework through collaborations between government departments and civil society.
For this fiscal year, the government intends to: continue support towards rehabilitation and reintegration initiatives in the Department of Correctional Services (DCS); continue support to existing models throughout Jamaica with keen focus on income generation and entrepreneurship initiatives; establishment of a sustainable reintegration and case management model for deported females in Kingston; and complete activities related to standardising reception and processing protocols in St. James.
Up to March this year, some of the achievements include: implementation of rehabilitative activities for local offenders under the Courtney Walsh Foundation and Springboard initiatives based in the DCS; additional support towards Open Arms Charitable Mission (St. James) and the Portland Rehabilitation Management to expand income generation initiatives for deported migrants and ex-offenders; and completion of renovation works at Open Arms for establishment of an administrative and counselling space, as well as computer laboratory and skills training area.
The programme, which is being implemented by the Ministry of National Security, began in November 2008, and following a number of extensions, is now scheduled to end in March 2014.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter