The Department of Correctional Services has begun issuing uniforms to inmates as part of attempts to improve conditions within local correctional facilities.
Speaking with JIS News, Commissioner of Corrections, Lieutenant Colonel Sean Prendergast, said the government will spend $12.4 million to provide the inmates with uniforms.
He added that the roll out of the uniforms is being done on a phased basis, while noting that inmates and wards are required to wear uniforms under the Corrections Act.
“The first phase will have uniforms being issued to all of the inmates at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre and the St. Catherine Correctional Centre. All inmates will be issued two sets of uniforms, trousers and t-shirts of a specific colour, and we expect that the roll out process of this phase one will be completed by the end of September,” Lt. Colonel Prendergast said.
He noted that the issuing of uniforms is being done in tandem with the gradual phasing out of the wearing of civilian clothes by inmates.
Lt. Colonel Prendergast also informed that discussions are already underway to have different categories of inmates dressed in specific colours, to help improve security measures within the prisons.
“It’s a major improvement for our security provisions inside the institution to have everybody in a recognised uniform. In this initial phase, everybody will be put in khaki trousers and white T-shirts. In future phases what we are going to do, is put different categories of inmates in different colours, but before we do that we will make the necessary public announcements, so that the public will be aware,” he pointed out.
Currently, there are 4,500 inmates and wards in correctional facilities across the island, and so far, $7.4 million has been spent providing uniforms for the inmates and wards.