JIS News

Commissioner of Corrections, Major Richard Reese, informed JIS News today (Oct. 24) that the Department of Correctional Services has begun training persons to operate the monitoring of offenders system.
“The first set of persons to be trained were the instructors. We are currently training the taggers and the monitors. Once that is completed then we will begin the field testing of the equipment and to also test the ability of the monitoring centre to track these offenders and to test the communication devices,” he said, during an interview with JIS News.
The electronic monitoring of offenders system will be used for the tracking of certain categories of offenders who are deemed low or medium risk, including persons who are on remand or persons who are on parole.
Major Reese said offenders who are deemed high risk will not be placed on the system; however it can be used to monitor persons who are on conditional release and inmates who are being transferred to medical facilities for treatment.
He explained that a number of jurisdictions currently use electronic monitoring to manage offenders who are serving non-custodial sentences; persons on bail; persons on supervision orders, or persons on conditional release from correctional centres.
“So we feel that it is a very important piece of technology that could aid the criminal justice system and as such a decision was taken by the Government to pilot test this equipment and technology, and based on the assessment certain policy decisions will be taken to determine the way forward,” Commissioner of Corrections said.
Meanwhile, Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Arthur Williams today (Oct. 24) officially launched the Correctional Services week, at a ceremony held at the Department of Correctional Services Corporate Area Probation Office. The week will be celebrated from October 24 to November 1 under the theme: ‘Empowering for Transformation’.
He urged all members of staff of the Department of Correctional Services and members of the public to come out and support the department’s week of activities.
Some of the activities planned for the week include: an art exhibition from October 24 to 26; a launching service on October 26 at the Power of Faith Ministries; an awards dinner on October 18 at the Hilton Kingston Hotel; an exposition/trade fair to be held at Devon House Heritage site from October 29 to November 1; and a debate, which is to be held at the Devon House Heritage site on October 30.