Suspension of visits to correctional facilities to continue

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Suspension of visits to correctional facilities to continue

Friday, March 27, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— TheMinistryof NationalSecuritysays it will be extending thesuspension of visits to correctional centres, as part of the fight against the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Matthew Samuda said the extended suspension of visits will go into immediate effectafter the existing suspension ends on Monday, March 30.

“The suspension will remain in effect until the DCS is advised otherwise by the National Disaster Risk Management Council,”Samuda said.

He noted that preparations have been made for increased food and sanitary items for the inmates and children,based on the needs of each facility.

Relatives and friends of inmates/wards may also deposit money to inmates'/wards' tuck shop cards.

According to the ministry deposits can be made to Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotia Centre Branch) Account name: Department of Corrections Project Fund, Account number: 10908-7815.

Upon completing the deposit, relatives are required to send a WhatsApp message to 876-319-1616 or emailprojectdepartment@dcs.gov.jmcontaining:

Reference number or receipt number

Inmate/ward name and date of birth

Name ofcorrectionalcentre where relative is housed

Scanned copy or photograph of identification (drivers' licenses, passport, national ID)

The maximum deposit per inmate/ward is twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) monthly.

The DCS said it is cognizant of the fact that although visits are restricted, family contact is essential to the mental wellbeing of the inmates and children under its care.

The department reminded the public that a system has been implemented to facilitate communication between inmates/wards and their relatives.

Relatives of inmates/wards can call the institution where they are housed to make an appointment to speak with them. The number for each institution is listed on the DCS website atwww.dcs.gov.jm.Families and friends are reminded that the department's phone lines are fully operational between the hours of 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

In the meantime, inmates, children orremandeeswho leave to attend courts or an appointment are subjected to a 14-day separation on admission or readmission in a correctional centre. They will not interact with the rest of the inmate population until they are cleared by a medical doctor.


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