Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda, says that new legislation to govern the correctional services will be brought before Cabinet for approval shortly.
“We expect to have this tabled in Parliament for debate and subsequent approval in no less than three months,” he said while addressing a virtual press conference on Thursday (October 15).
“This will create a modern legal framework for us to operate within and will give the men and women the resources they need to run the correctional services in a particular manner,” he said.
He said that the new legislation will update and strengthen the existing Corrections Act, making it more aligned to current trends, taking into consideration modern technological advances and increases in existing penalties for breaches.
Among other things, it will address the issue of contraband in detention facilities, with harsher penalties for inmates found with electronic devices that allow them to communicate externally.
“An issue of great concern to the public is the issue of contraband, which will be dealt with fulsomely in this new piece of legislation. It will be a crime for persons to smuggle contraband into our facilities. It will also be a crime for persons who are inmates to be found with contraband,” he noted.
The Corrections Act is one of several critical pieces of legislation scheduled to be tabled in the 2020/21 fiscal year to improve security operations.