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JIS News

Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Arthur Williams, is recommending that schools, post offices and other public institutions, register with the local Probation Office, to be eligible for help through Community Service Orders from the courts.
He said that registration would place them in good stead, to receive assistance for maintenance work, to be carried out by persons who are ordered by the courts to do community work, instead of serving time in prison.
Mr. Williams pointed out that it is impractical to send everybody to jail, and that there are many persons who have committed breaches, who do not deserve actual jail time. He pointed to a recent call by Prime Minister Bruce Golding, for the courts to hand down more community service orders.
The State Minister, who was speaking at the launch of the Department of Corrections’ Inmates Public Work Programme, at the White Marl Primary and Junior High School in St. Catherine, said the school was perfect for the Order. “Here is an institution that can be a part of the Service Order Programme, that when young men offend, they can come here and keep the school in good order.”
He encouraged the school’s Board to source funding to purchase yard and gardening tools and have them at the ready, “so that you can be in a position that when the Community Service Orders are made, you can say yes, we’re ready, please send them,” he said.
Senator Williams explained to JIS News, that community centres that are used as legitimate community venues, could also register and benefit under the programme.
Commissioner of Corrections, Major Richard Reese, said he endorsed the suggestion of the State Minister, as the programme was an effective one so far.
“Yes I applaud the suggestion. The critical thing is risk needs assessment. As long as we continue to get the support of the police and the community, we can extend this programme significantly,” he noted.