The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Dianne McIntosh, has said that the Jamaica Reducing Reoffending Action Plan (JRRAP), which assists in reintegrating deportees and local ex-offenders, is making a positive impact, particularly on those needing temporary accommodation, medical support and counselling.
She was speaking with Jamaica’s Consul General in Toronto, Seth George Ramocan, on Thursday February 10, during a courtesy call at the Consulate General of Jamaica in Toronto, Canada.
Funded by the British Government, the objective of JRRAP, which began in 2008 for an initial three years, is to reduce the incidence of re-offending. Ms. McIntosh stated that the British Government has acknowledged that it is one of the most unique programmes that it supports, globally.
One of the aims of JRRAP is to build capacity in five organizations – the Salvation Army, Open Arms Drop-in Centre, Community Group Homes, National Council on Drug Abuse and Hibiscus Jamaica – to provide better services for deportees and local ex-offenders, in the areas of short-term accommodation, counselling, drug rehabilitation and mental health. JRRAP also supports rehabilitation of local offenders under the Department of Correctional Services.
In praising the programme, Mr. Ramocan noted that, for some time, there has been concern that many persons are being deported with no connection to Jamaica, and JRRAP is now helping to facilitate some level of care for them.
He said that it will be worthwhile to pursue similar support with the Government of Canada, to assist in settling deportees from that country to Jamaica. He said that many deportees from Canada went there as children, are unattached to family and institutions in Jamaica and, therefore, need support for reintegration.
Mr. Ramocan also mentioned the importance of Jamaicans in the Diaspora becoming citizens of the countries where they are living, in order to minimize the number of deportations. He informed the Permanent Secretary of a Citizenship Initiative, which he launched since becoming Consul General 15 months ago, to encourage Jamaicans with permanent resident status to become Canadian citizens, as soon as they qualify.
Other areas of discussion focused on improving passport processing services to the public, and crime issues. The Consul General said he was encouraged by the downward trend in crime, noting that it is a positive development for all Jamaicans.
CONTACT: CAROLYN GOULBOURNE-WARREN
JIS INFORMATION ATTACHÉ
JAMAICAN CONSULATE GENERAL