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Juvenile inmates benefit from Arts Summer Programme

Friday, September 22, 2017

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Pearnel Charles Jr has lauded the successful partnership of Youth for Arts & Recreational Development (YARD) Empire, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) at the first staging of a drama presentation at the Rio Cobre Juvenile Correctional Centre.

The drama presentation represents the culmination of the eight-week summer initiative involving YARD Empire's use of the performing arts at the juvenile institution.

According to a release from the Ministry of Security today, the summer initiative implemented by YARD Empire is in keeping with the ministry's effort toward “Rehabilitation and Redemption”, the fifth pillar of the national crime reduction strategy.

President of YARD Empire and actress, Iris 'Terry' Salmon, said the boys at the centre not only expressed themselves through the performing arts but were exposed to different aspects of what is needed to make a drama production successful.

The ministry said the initiative reached 84 per cent of the wards at the institution, who wrote their own stories, sang and participated in rehearsal sessions for the drama presentation that was performed for Minister Charles, members of the DCS and OAS staff.

“The talent displayed by Correctional Officers and wards is a demonstration of the success of our collaborative approach to rehabilitation,” said Charles, who has portfolio responsibility for the DCS.