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JIS News

The Ministry of National Security is committed to improving the literacy levels of inmates in penal institutions islandwide.
This was emphasised by Minister of State in the Ministry, Dr. Donald Rhodd, during a tour of the Tamarind Farm Adult Correctional Centre in St. Catherine on July 24.
Dr. Rhodd informed that the government was pursuing a programme to ensure that inmates were literate up to the Grade 9 level before leaving a correctional institution.
In an interview with JIS News, Dr. Rhodd also said that a part of the rehabilitation programme for inmates was the building of a 5,000-bed facility to ease congestion in prisons. He pointed out that a tender bid for the complex was opened on July 21.
“One of the challenges of rehabilitation that we face is the need for space. When you look around at the other institutions, you’ll realise that they are really cramped for space and there’s very little space in terms of classrooms for the teaching of skills and other educational programmes,” he said.
The State Minister said it was important for inmates to learn skills while at the institutions, so that they could work and be “better off” when they leave. “I think the Tamarind Farm institution, for example, would do very well if we were to expand some of the working areas and so we intend to work very closely with the HEART Trust/National Training Agency to certify these skills, so inmates on leaving can make a better life for themselves,” he added.
The Tamarind Farm Adult Correctional Centre is a low-level security penal institution situated on 57 hectares of land adjacent to the Spanish Town bypass in St. Catherine.