JIS News

The St. Catherine segment of the Inmate Public Work Project is now underway, with inmates from the St. Catherine Adult Correctional Centre engaged in clean-up activities in Spanish Town.
The work involves the clearing of grass and debris along Burke Road, the Spanish Town Cathedral and the Spanish Town Prison Oval.
Speaking at a ceremony held at the Prison Oval on Thursday (Nov. 22) to launch the programme for St. Catherine, Minister of National Security, Derrick Smith, said that the government is committed to implementing workable rehabilitation programmes in correctional institutions.
He said it is important to find ways to prepare inmates to rejoin the society after they are released from prison and called on the public to support the work programme.
He assured that the inmates were carefully selected and posed no risk to the public. “These persons are considered moderate to low risk and I am 99.9 per cent sure that they will harm no one and in fact, they will make no effort to escape,” he said.
Minister Smith told the inmates that the continuation of the project will depend on their conduct. “I am sure that you will benefit from the programme and indeed, you will want some of your fellow inmates to be exposed to a programme of this nature,” he said.
In the meantime, he informed that Commissioner of Corrections, Major Richard Reese, has indicated that inmates will undertake repair work at the Richmond Police Station in St. Mary at a minimal cost.
“I have taken note of that and I will speak to our building officer to ensure that the quality of work is done and we will take you up on that,” he told Major Reese, who was at the function.
Recently, the government approved some $100 million to rehabilitate police stations that have been damaged islandwide.
The Inmate Public Work Project, which is being undertaken by the Department of Correctional Services, involves engaging low-risk inmates in the cleaning and beautification of public places.
It will be carried out in two phases, with phase one, involving Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Mary, St. Catherine and Manchester to run from November 5 to December 13. Phase 2 will run for 12-weeks beginning January 7, 2008.

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