MINISTER of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna will today lead a team of psychiatrists and child care professionals to visit children in the juvenile sections of the Fort Augusta Correctional Centre and the Horizon Remand Centre in Kingston.
The team will include the president of the Medical Association of Jamaica and noted psychiatrist Dr. Aggrey Irons; psychiatrist Dr. Myo Kyaw Oo; chief executive officer of the Child Development Agency (CDA) Carla Francis Edie; social work staff of the CDA; acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Culture Sydney Bartley; and Commissioner of Corrections Lt. Col. Sean Prendergast.
The visit is in keeping with efforts by Hanna and the youth and culture ministry to encourage increased medical and therapeutic intervention for children in the care of the state including those in children’s homes and places of safety under the jurisdiction of the youth ministry and the CDA; as well as children in juvenile correctional and remand centres under the care and authority of the Department of Correctional Services, which reports to the Ministry of National Security.
The visit also forms part of ongoing visits by the minister to children’s homes, places of safety and juvenile correctional centres.
Speaking on children’s issues at a press conference on December 18 last year, the youth minister pointed out that child abuse, neglect and abandonment have contributed to significant mental, psychological, and emotional trauma affecting children and that the situation is often worsened where children are institutionalised whether for care and protection, uncontrollable behaviour, or for committing offences.