New Path Project Impacting Hundreds of Youth

Photo: D. Reid Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Hon. Rudyard Spencer (right), exchanges pleasantries with Country Representative of the Organization of American States (OAS), in Jamaica, Jeanelle Van Glaanenweygel (centre), at the relaunch of the Reintegration Curriculum and opening of the renovated classrooms at the Rio Cobre Junvenile Correctional Centre in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, today (September 4). Sharing the moment (from left) are Country Representative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in Jamaica, Jason Fraser; Commissioner of Corrections, Ina Hunter, and Chief of Security and Justice at the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (DPS/OAS), Cristian Gabriel Taboada.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, is reporting that the ‘A New Path’ project has positively impacted more than 1,500 youth.
  • Implemented three years ago, the initiative seeks to transform youth who are in remand centres and State care facilities.
  • With crucial support from the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), it aims to provide hope to marginalised youth who have come into conflict with the law, by equipping them with the necessary skills for reintegration into society.

Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, is reporting that the ‘A New Path’ project has positively impacted more than 1,500 youth.

Implemented three years ago, the initiative seeks to transform youth who are in remand centres and State care facilities.

With crucial support from the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), it aims to provide hope to marginalised youth who have come into conflict with the law, by equipping them with the necessary skills for reintegration into society.

The State Minister said that in addition to the 1,500-plus young people who have received support from the project, “more than 800 girls and boys have successfully completed and received certification in a range of educational and vocational training”.

Mr. Spencer was speaking at the relaunch of the Reintegration Curriculum and opening of the renovated classrooms at the Rio Cobre Juvenile Correctional Centre in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, today (September 4).

Among the work-readiness skills taught to the youth are classical music, yoga, animation and aquaponics.

The State Minister said they are all “desirable capacities” that contribute to the holistic restoration and marketability of the juveniles when they leave the penal system.

He also lauded the efforts of the partners on the project – the Department of Public Security of the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (DPS/OAS) and the Trust of the Americas, which received funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

“These entities have made it their mandate to strengthen and establish policies and programmes for modernisation of the social reintegration systems within Jamaica, and the design of sustainable social reintegration models for young people,” Mr. Spencer noted.

The project, which is scheduled to end in September 2019, offers and facilitates weekly counselling, training, conflict resolution programmes as well as opportunities for apprenticeship.

JIS Social