JIS News

The Howard Hostels, which will assist in managing prisoners’ transition to freedom while reducing re-offending, were officially opened Wednesday (July 29) at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre in Kingston.
The project forms part of the Ministry of National Security’s efforts to improve its rehabilitative infrastructures and reduce crimes. The facilities, which were refurbished at a cost of some $22 million, fall under the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Offenders and Deported Persons programme.
The programme is a joint venture between the Jamaican Government, through the Ministry of National Security, and the Government of the United Kingdom, which seeks to achieve a reduction in reoffending rates among Jamaican offenders and returnees.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, British High Commissioner, His Excellency Jeremy Cresswell, said that the programme will assist greatly in the reintegration of offenders into society, which is critical.
He noted that the inclusion of a visitors’ centre, will make conditions more pleasant as the ones before were in a state of disrepair and subjected to bad weather.
“We hope it will encourage relatives to visit their family members, and hope thereby that it will foster stronger family links,” he said.
The hostels will accommodate up to 40 men for a maximum period of six months.
Mr. Cresswell said that many of the offenders have a great deal to offer society, if given the chance.
“We shouldn’t be prejudiced about people who have fallen into difficult times, or gone down the wrong track. Let us hope that this building here will imbue us with a spirit that can encourage us to work for the benefit of those who are coming out of institutions, and for the good of society,” the High Commissioner said.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Major Richard Reese, said that the project seeks to “transform lives.” He commended all the partners in the process, noting that “with strong partnerships success is guaranteed.”
The programme is a timely and a balanced one, which not only treats with persons who are being returned from the various territories overseas, but also focuses on local offenders, which is critical to the development of the nation, he said.
Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, Deacon Ronald Thwaites, thanked all the stakeholders for the work they have done in the establishment of the facilities. He said that the facilities will assist with the upliftment and regeneration of those whom society has adjudged to have gone wrong.

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