Reducing Rate of Recidivism High on Agenda of Government


Minister of National Security, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson, has said that an urgent national imperative of the Government is the formulation of clearly defined strategies and the implementation of effective mechanisms to significantly reduce the rate of recidivism in the society, particularly in the penal institutions.
He pointed out that there is a potential 23 per cent re-offending rate in the penal institutions and a growing number of deportees.
The Minister was speaking on June 25, at the launch of the Jamaica Reducing Re-offending Action Plan (JRRAP), at the Ministry of National Security, in Kingston. JRRAP is a new integrated approach designed to promote the re-integration and rehabilitation of deported persons and local offenders into society.
Senator Nelson pointed out that the effort to reduce the number of re-offenders is of critical importance, for the security of Jamaicans.
“We recognise that the influx of individuals who run afoul of the law in other jurisdictions as well as in Jamaica and spend time in penal institutions.are urgent considerations for the security of this country,” he said, adding that “there is an urgent need to build a rehabilitative bridge between civil society and the judicial and law enforcement processes”.
The Minister said the Government recognises that a firm and sustainable structure is needed to enable errant persons to traverse their way back into civil society, with the assurance that if they mend their ways, they will be accepted and allowed to play more meaningful roles in community development and nation building.
Senator Nelson commended the British Government for committing 2.97 million Pounds Sterling to the initiative. Under the project, the Ministry and its civil society partners, will provide accommodation facilities and structured re-integration programmes for re-offenders and persons who have been deported from other jurisdictions.
“The Jamaican Government is now developing strategies (through JRRAP) to keep the estimated 1,800 offenders who are released from local penal institutions annually, from recommitting offences and being sent back to prison,” the Minister said.
Under the plan, the Correctional Services Department will also receive assistance in the area of capacity building.

JIS Social