Plans Advanced for Construction of New Prison


Plans are advanced for the construction of a new correctional facility in Amity Hall, St. Catherine. The facility, which is estimated to cost $750 million, will accommodate both males and females, with a capacity for about 5,000 beds.
Minister of State for National Security, Senator Arthur Williams, who spoke to JIS News following a tour of correctional institutions and probation and after-care offices in Hanover and Westmoreland on Wednesday (Oct. 17), said that proposals are now being accepted and this stage of the project should be completed by December 4.
“Thereafter, the matter of the negotiation of the contract will take place, and then the final submissions to the National Contracts Committee and to Cabinet, will be the final stage prior to contract,” he stated.
Construction of the facility should begin by late 2008 and the project period is about three years.
Senator Williams said that on completion, the new facility will help to seriously reduce the overcrowding that now exists at St. Catherine District Prison, Tower Street Adult Correctional Facility, and Fort Augusta.
“The concept is what you would call a campus-type concept. That you would build the administrative blocks, and then you would build the cell blocks in clusters, and so you can do it in phases and continue to build as you go along, so everything will not necessarily be constructed one time,” he told JIS News.
He informed that the facility will be constructed under a build, own, lease and transfer agreement, freeing the government from having to finance the project. “The most that the government will have to do is to guarantee the loans, but all financing arrangements would be for the developer,” Senator Williams said.

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