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Wife of the Governor-General, Her Excellency the Most Hon. Lady Allen, has encouraged wards at the Hill Top Juvenile Correctional Centre in Bamboo, St. Ann, to rise above their circumstances and strive to be their best.
Lady Allen recently visited the institution on a familiarisation tour led by Acting Commissioner of Corrections, June Spence – Jarrett, along with other representatives from the Department of Correctional Services.
“I come here to say to you that there is no need for you to lose hope. This is a place of safety. There are many people out there who have to be sleeping on the streets and there are many who have a roof over their heads but do not know where their next meal is coming from.
So although you might think that your situation is bad, there are many persons out there who are worse off than you are,” Lady Allen said, adding that the wards should not view their being at Hill Top as a final stop in their lives.
She further encouraged them to make use of the various learning opportunities that were offered in the rehabilitation process and seek to make a positive turn in becoming better individuals.
“You have also been given a second chance, a chance to make your life better but, in becoming a better person you must learn to take responsibility for your actions. You are here because you did something and so you have to take responsibility and say to yourself, ‘I deserve to be here because I did something that was wrong but I am not going to be stuck here or leave here to a higher secured facility, I am going to leave here contributing to myself, to my family and to my country,'” she said.
She commended the staff at the institution for their hard work in the rehabilitation process.
Meanwhile, Superintendent of the Centre,Wesley Christie, said that the institution was proud of its many achievements.
He explained that like any normal school setting, the wards are being exposed to academic and vocational training, and that the more competent ones were given the opportunity to sit the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Examinations.
“The young men here have been doing well in subject areas such as English Language, Social Studies, Science, Information Technology, Agricultural Science and Principles of Business, among others,” Mr. Christie said, informing that the most recent sitting off the SSC Examination saw one ward achieving passes in six subjects, five with distinction.
He congratulated the wards on their academic achievements at the Correctional Centre, noting that it is a step towards charting their course in a positive direction.
The Hill Top Juvenile Correctional Centre is a centre for boys. The facility, which falls under the Department of Correctional Services, aims to rehabilitate, train and counsel delinquent youngsters so that they can become constructive members of society.