JIS News

Minister of National Security, Derrick Smith, has lauded the Department of Correctional Services for its work in helping to secure the nation from criminal elements.
The Minister, who was speaking at the Department’s honours and awards function on Wednesday (Sept.19) at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston, noted that the Correctional Services is “just as much an arm of our national security forces and it is a critical link within the chain of the criminal justice system.”
“I know many people see the Correctional Services as being somewhat less important than the other departments and agencies within the security portfolio. I do not,” Mr. Smith said. “You may not be on the streets hunting men or cornering rapists, but when they are caught and have exhausted their cases in the criminal courts, you have the equally challenging job of securing society from them,” he pointed out.
According to the Minister, his years as shadow Minister have prepared him “for the most daunting job facing this Government.”
“I am not intimidated by the challenge, nor am I scared of failure, but I can only serve in terms of ensuring that the government’s policy is implemented and strictly adhered to,” he said.
He told the members of the Correctional Services that “in order to achieve success, I will have to depend on the courage, loyalty and dedication of every one of you.”
“Always bear in mind that when it comes to the security and general well-being of this nation there should be no divisions, whether in terms of class, race or political affiliation,” he added, noting that “the battle to secure our country is a challenge for all well-thinking Jamaicans of all persuasion.”
Mr. Smith informed that Minister of State for National Security, Senator Arthur Williams, has been asked to work closely with the Department of Correctional Services so as to ensure that “your issues and interests receive ongoing attention.”
“I look forward to working with the Correctional Services on a very profound basis, because there are a number of things that we will wish to change, or to improve, or to speed up,” he stated.
The Minister congratulated the 44 correctional officers, who received awards for long service and good conduct.
“I just want to thank these 44 persons, who are being honoured for the contribution they have made to the system. I hope that their achievements and the honour they have earned in the process, will encourage others to follow in their footsteps,” Mr. Smith said.

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