State Minister Says Inmates Deserve a Chance

Photo: Claudia Gardner Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. (right), interacts with students and teachers at the St. Michael’s Primary School in Kingston, where The Department of Correctional Services handed over desks and chairs recently.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., says inmates in the penal system deserve a chance to make positive contributions to the society.
  • He was speaking recently at the St. Michael’s Primary School in Kingston, where The Department of Correctional Services handed over desks and chairs to the institution that were made by the inmates.
  • Senator Charles Jr. said the gift to the school, and others given to various institutions are a “clear statement to Jamaica that the people who make mistakes deserve a chance to contribute positively, and these inmates have started to do so already”.

Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., says inmates in the penal system deserve a chance to make positive contributions to the society.

He was speaking recently at the St. Michael’s Primary School in Kingston, where The Department of Correctional Services handed over desks and chairs to the institution that were made by the inmates.

Senator Charles Jr. said the gift to the school, and others given to various institutions are a “clear statement to Jamaica that the people who make mistakes deserve a chance to contribute positively, and these inmates have started to do so already”.

Making the furniture is part of the Direct Result of Inmates’ Value and Empowerment (DRIVE) initiative that is being used by the Ministry of National Security and The Department of Correctional Services to rehabilitate incarcerated persons.

The State Minister added that other institutions surrounding correctional facilities will be supported by the prisons, as “we will use the DRIVE programme for our officers and inmates to extend service to the community”.

He encouraged the students to stay away from wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, Principal of the school, Juliet Campbell-McPherson, told JIS News that the items have come at the right time, as the population at the institution is growing rapidly.

“Our school will benefit tremendously. We have a set in the computer laboratory, as we didn’t have enough desks in there. Some will be going to the classrooms. We are highly appreciative of the donation,” she said.

For her part, Commissioner of Corrections, Ina Hunter, said the items are well-made and could be on the market anywhere. “So, they speak to the quality of the products that come out of our institution, and to the level of competence of our staff members who guide these inmates,” she said.

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