JIS News

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  • The Ministry of National Security is seeking to identify a ‘child-friendly’ facility to relocate female wards currently held at the South Camp Road Rehabilitation Centre in Kingston.
  • Portfolio Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, says a facility with a school or home environment, rather than a correctional institution, is being sought.
  • Mr. Bunting indicated that the Ministry will be lobbying public and private sector support and input for the undertaking and is hopeful that stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Education, can assist.

The Ministry of National Security is seeking to identify a ‘child-friendly’ facility to relocate female wards currently held at the South Camp Road Rehabilitation Centre in Kingston.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, says a facility with a school or home environment, rather than a correctional institution, is being sought.

He made the disclosure while speaking at the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) mini exposition, at the Horizon Remand Centre in Kingston, on Wednesday, May 28.

Mr. Bunting indicated that the Ministry will be lobbying public and private sector support and input for the undertaking and is hopeful that stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Education, can assist.

“We are wide open (to suggestions and assistance, and) we would appreciate that because we want to get that done this fiscal year; we don’t want it to go over into another fiscal year. We are determined and we are asking for help,” he stated.

Female wards, ranging between ages 12 and 18, who have either been incarcerated or remanded for offences, are currently kept in custody at the South Camp Correctional facility.

The institution, which previously housed adult male inmates, was converted to accommodate the girls following a fire at Armadale Juvenile Correctional facility for girls in St. Ann, in 2009.

The girls were temporarily housed at a facility at Diamond Crest, St. Elizabeth, before being relocated to South Camp Road in 2013, after the adults were transferred to other correctional institutions.

The number of females housed at the centre daily, varies between 35 and 60, depending on the nature of the offence, and the mandated period of incarceration.

The expo showcased the artistic talents of adults and juveniles, who are either incarcerated or remanded in correctional institutions islandwide.

The categories of items displayed included woodwork, metal craft, home economics, clothing and textile, art and craft, and agriculture.

Commissioner of Corrections, Jevene Bent, advised that the inmates, wards, and remandees engagement in art and craft forms part of the Department’s rehabilitation/re-integration programme for them.

“The products are made by them, supported, and overseen by our correctional officers and our teachers and instructors who we have hired; and they take a lot of time and effort and passion into what you have seen here,” the Commissioner stated.

Ms. Bent advised that the products are sold and proceeds channeled to assist the inmates’ families.