• JIS News

    New computers valued at $350,000 were handed over to five Probation Aftercare Offices by Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Arthur Williams, on February 12.
    The offices to benefit from the computers are located in Falmouth, Montego Bay (Barnett Street), Portmore, Spanish Town and Region 2, which covers St. Ann, Manchester, Clarendon and St. Catherine.
    Speaking at the handing over ceremony at the offices of the Department of Correctional Services on King Street in Kingston, Mr. Williams said the computers would enhance the work of the Probation Officers by enabling them to provide timely reports to the Courts and Parole Board. The State Minister lauded the dedication of the Probation Officers, adding that he anticipated improvement to the justice system, once the Resident Magistrates received the reports “in a more timely way.”
    Probation Aftercare Officers are mandated to play a role in the re-integration of inmates into the society. They also act as a liaison between these persons and their communities, while offering supervision and counselling.
    Commenting on his tour of the probation facilities in October and November last year, the State Minister noted that they lacked the “technological aids which in modern times are normal for every office” and needed at least 19 computers immediately.
    “When a probation office has only one computer with only one typist, the work of the office is limited. And so when I saw the condition in relation to the lack of computers, my position was that we had to find a way of relieving that need at the earliest possible time,” the State Minister said.
    He indicated that the additional 14 computers would be acquired during the 2008/09 financial year. Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner in charge of Human Resource Management and Community Services, Aileen Wolfe-Stephens, pointed out that the “demand for technological machinery within the Probation Aftercare Offices has increased, following the expansion of its roles and functions, to provide greater output and timely deliverables.” Mrs. Wolfe-Stephens said the acquisition of the computers would increase productivity and efficiency, and help to promote computer literacy at the offices.

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