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  • “This work will include the focus on developing standard operating procedures which are in line with best practices and culturally appropriate for the discipline of inmates and wards; enhanced training for officers who interface with juveniles; (and) enhanced training for our wards,” he said.
  • Mr. Samuda informed that Chief Technical Director in the National Security Ministry, Shauna Trowers, will chair this working group, and other stakeholders have been invited to nominate a representative and participate.
  • “This group will be given 100 per cent support from DCS, and total access to our facilities to ensure the plan when completed, is indeed the road map to ensure discipline, education and the care, physical and psychological for our wards is appropriate and achieves the goal of rehabilitation,” he said.

The Ministry of National Security has convened a working group to address some of the issues highlighted in the recently concluded special investigation report into the Rio Cobre Juvenile Correctional Centre by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM).

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda who made the disclosure, noted that the group will focus particularly on the duty of care of inmates and wards.

“This work will include the focus on developing standard operating procedures which are in line with best practices and culturally appropriate for the discipline of inmates and wards; enhanced training for officers who interface with juveniles; (and) enhanced training for our wards,” he said.

Senator Samuda was making a statement regarding the IDECOM special investigation report during the sitting of the Senate on Friday (Feb. 12).

He noted that the working group will also be conducting a review of the educational programme within the juvenile correctional facilities; and undertake an evaluation of the psychosocial support available to wards, and make recommendations.

Mr. Samuda informed that Chief Technical Director in the National Security Ministry, Shauna Trowers, will chair this working group, and other stakeholders have been invited to nominate a representative and participate.

The representatives are to be drawn from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; the Ministry of Health and Wellness; the Office of the Public Defender; Centre for Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA); Office of the Children’s Advocate; Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CFPSA); United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Jamaica; the Jamaica Psychiatric Association; and the disabled community

“I will also be engaging the unions representing the correctional officers within the facilities that cater to juveniles to provide representation on the working group,” Mr. Samuda said.

He further pointed out that the working group will not be a committee for “announcement purposes,” noting that the completion of the work will target a 90-day deadline.

“This group will be given 100 per cent support from DCS, and total access to our facilities to ensure the plan when completed, is indeed the road map to ensure discipline, education and the care, physical and psychological for our wards is appropriate and achieves the goal of rehabilitation,” he said.

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