Activities under the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Local Offenders and Deported Persons programme should be significantly enhanced this year, through a $81.2 million provision in the 2012/13 Estimates of Expenditure, which is now before the House of Representatives.
With support funding from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the project is intended to reduce the rate of re-offending amongst local offenders and deportees; to improve the rehabilitation and reintegration of deportees and offenders in Jamaica; and establish emergency safety nets to receive deportees immediately on return to Jamaica.
It is also expected to provide services throughout Jamaica to help the reintegration of deportees and local offenders; contribute to the strengthening of the Jamaican government’s policy framework through the income of collaborations between government departments and civil society.
Targets envisaged under the project include: supporting the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) in the implementation of its business plans and use of the DCS performance framework; provide financial and technical support to the services established under Phase I of the programme; and develop and implement a three-year investment plan, including facilities and services outside Kingston, and formulate an explicit exit strategy.
Up to March this year, there was a review of Phase I of the programme, and a work plan developed for the next steps; renovation works completed in the construction of a central kitchen for the Open Arms facility in St. James; the Hibiscus Jamaica Ltd. contract extended by the National Contracts Commission for the continued provision of emergency reintegration services to female deported migrants and their children; and the Open Heart Charitable Mission contract signed for the renovation and refurbishment of facilities for provision of reintegration services to both male and female deported migrants.
For this financial year, the government is hoping to: continue renovation and refurbishing works on the Portland Rehabilitation Management facilities in Portland for the provision of reintegration services to deported migrants; continue work to be carried out by the Heart Trust/NTA, Springboard and Courtney Walsh Foundation under the Department of Correctional Services; and contracting a project officer to develop and administer monitoring and evaluation tools to assist in the development of an exit and sustainability strategy.
The programme, which is being implemented by the Ministry of National Security, began in November 2008, and following a number of extensions, is now scheduled to end in March 2014.
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporter