New housing and classrooms for Rio Cobre Juvenile Correctional Centre

New housing and classrooms for Rio Cobre Juvenile Correctional Centre

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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ST CATHERINE, Jamaica— Wards in State care at the Rio Cobre Juvenile Correctional Centre in Spanish Town will benefit from additional housing and learning facilities next year.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Matthew Samuda, made the announcement while touring the classrooms and housing blocks currently under construction.

He indicated that the Department of Correctional Services is working to consolidate rehabilitation efforts through the planned relocation of wards from the Hill Top Juvenile Correctional Centre to Rio Cobre.

“We are quite proud of the new classroom block which will be ready to go in January so the boys' classroom experience will be significantly improved. Other areas under construction are the new dorms; this is a phased project so some parts will be ready within a week and next month, while the new block should be ready by February,” the minister said earlier this morning while touring the facility with Commissioner of Corrections, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Gary Rowe.

“I think the recent announcements of CSEC passes from the adults and young wards should make the country satisfied; however, we want to expand the access and the interest in the educational programmes,” he emphasised.

Samuda noted that he is proud of the work being done in the facility to ensure that the wards have access to the necessary technology for education. He added that it is important to ensure that the rehabilitation needs of the wards are met in order to facilitate their reintegration into society.

“We have a fulsome rehabilitation programme for all ages but we always need to expand and put more energy into it. A critical element of mentorship is not being fully actualised due to the pandemic; however, we are doing everything we can to assist the wards in other ways,” Samuda pointed out.

The Rio Cobre Juvenile Correctional Centre currently houses over 40 young men whose ages range between 12 to 17 years, and who have been in conflict with the law.

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