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Story Highlights

  • Some 50 youth housed at the Rio Cobre Juvenile Detention Centre for Boys, in St. Catherine, are undergoing rehabilitation, in preparation for their reintegration into society.
  • The Reaching Individuals Through Skills and Education (RISE) Life Management Services is providing training in essential life skills, through its ‘Finding My Voice’ programme.
  • Under the rehabilitation and reintegration component of the programme, the boys are being trained in communication, conflict resolution, anger management, goal setting, career development, group development and team-building skills.

Some 50 youth housed at the Rio Cobre Juvenile Detention Centre for Boys, in St. Catherine, are undergoing rehabilitation, in preparation for their reintegration into society.

The Reaching Individuals Through Skills and Education (RISE) Life Management Services is providing training in essential life skills, through its ‘Finding My Voice’ programme.

Under the rehabilitation and reintegration component of the programme, the boys are being trained in communication, conflict resolution, anger management, goal setting, career development, group development and team-building skills.

In his address at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Spanish Town, held at the Police Officers’ Club, in Kingston, on February 2, Programme Manager of RISE Life Management Services, Shawn McGregor, explained that all parties involved in the rehabilitation process will receive training.

“Our staff training programme is geared towards helping them to understand that many of them (the boys) are coming from situations of trauma, hurt and grief. While we are training the staff, we are working with the boys on some fundamental life skills, many of which they were robbed of while growing up,” he said.

The 18-month programme, which commenced in October last year, is slated to end in March 2017.

“We work with the parents by training them and preparing them to accept the child back in their homes and in their lives, looking at appropriate reintegration mechanisms and opportunities to reduce recidivism,” Mr. McGregor said.

He said the programme will end with the development of a manual for use in detention centres across the island.

Mr. McGregor said the manual will be used in life and social skills training for counsellors; training in performing arts (music);  in sports; academic support; and training for counsellors on how to conduct interventions with incarcerated youth.

The ‘Finding My Voice’ is a national programme, aimed at preventing child abuse as well as promoting and protecting the rights of children.

RISE Life Management Services, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, offers assistance to inner city youth and young adults. The organisation is seeking the support of public and private sector groups for the implementation of its programmes.

The organisation currently receives financial support from the Ministry of Health, the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund and the European Union.