JIS News

Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Arthur Williams, has said that the continued implementation of social preventive measures is vital to the development of the country.
These measures, he added, will assist greatly with reducing the crime rate in the island.
“The solution to the rampant crime and violence is not going to rest only with the police but is going to involve to a large extent two other things, the social intervention preventive measures that we put in place before people end up in institutions; and the work that we do in these institutions to prepare them for coming out after,” he said at the Department of Correctional Services’ exhibition/trade fair, at the Devon House Heritage Site in Kingston on Wednesday (October 29).
Senator Williams highlighted that the measures, which have been implemented thus far, have aided significantly with the development of persons who have committed offences and called for greater collaborative efforts among private and public entities.
He noted that the Inmates External Work Programme, has been intensified and has gained tremendous support across the island.
The State Minister added that “persons from institutions from all across Jamaica [have been] asking us to intensify this programme and to do more work across the nation. We have put together a formidable team of private sector personnel to find the resources to keep this programme going”.
The other measure, he noted, is the electronic monitoring projects. This, he said, is another very important project, as it will give the judiciary some sentencing options that would not normally be available to them.
“In other countries that have electronic monitoring project, a judge can give a sentence for example of 18 months in prison and direct that you serve half in the institutions and half outside of the institutions but be monitored, so that is the kind of option it gives to the judiciary, to widen the range of sentencing options that they have.so that overcrowding will be balanced,” Mr. Williams explained.
Moreover, he pointed out that it will “allow us in cases of sexual offences to be able to monitor the people. Paedophiles are all over the place and if we know who they are and we tag them then we can monitor them and prevent them from continuing along those lines.”
He commended the various departments that have participated in the staging of Correctional Services’ Week. “It is a week of activities with a difference, with a wide spread, with a range that should interest a wide cross section of persons,” he said.
Commissioner of Corrections, Major Richard Reese, in his remarks said that the exhibits, will demonstrate that the Department has tremendous potential “and once we fully unlock those potentials, there is no stopping us.”
He commended all the members of staff who worked tirelessly to make the events possible and lauded the inmates and wards who have also worked vigorously to prepare the items for display.
The exhibits that were on display included: furniture, clothing, accessories, culinary items and art. The exposition incorporates pieces from all the correctional institutions across the island.