DCS launches inmate reintegration preparation programme

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DCS launches inmate reintegration preparation programme

Friday, January 17, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) launched its inmate reintegration preparation programme at the Tamarind Farm Adult Correctional Centre yesterday.

According to the Ministry of National Security, the programme, dubbed 'Imagine Me', is geared towards addressing the cognitive and emotional needs of inmates before reintegration into society.

'Imagine Me', which was implemented from a partnership with the Department for International Development and DCS, runs for 12 weeks and focuses on empowering inmates while enabling them to identify training and employment opportunities just before completing their sentences.

The ministry said it focuses on the importance of optimism, self-esteem and self-care, emotional intelligence, stress management, mental health, sexual health and technical and vocational training.

State Minister in the Ministry of National Security Rudyard Spencer lauded the conceptualisation of the rehabilitation programme.

“I am pleased to say that we are making strides in our efforts to transform and rehabilitate offenders, which will contribute to the creation of a safer Jamaica. Our focus is to explore all available opportunities with the private sector, our regional and international partners, so that offenders can leave better than they came in,” Spencer said.

“At the department we not only focus on educating the inmates and teaching them technical and vocational skills, we are also addressing the cognitive behaviour of inmates and fixing the psychosocial problems that contribute to recidivism,” added Commissioner of Corrections Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Gary Rowe.

One inmate said the initiative is warmly welcomed in addition to existing rehabilitation programmes.

“I am really happy for this programme and the case managers present here. It is good to have a listening ear. With their help I am now identifying more positive ways to improve my life,” he said.

The ministry said the programme will be facilitated by case managers and correctional officers from DCS with training in risk assessment, psychology, psychosocial therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy and social work.

It added that it is one of the several avenues utilised by DCS to hamper recidivism and ensure successful reintegration of offenders.

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