Pearnel Charles Jr to tour correctional facilities

Thursday, March 24, 2016

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Pearnel Charles Jr, who has been assigned direct responsibility for the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), will be embarking on a tour of the nation’s correctional facilities in the next two weeks as he seeks to fast-track the modernization efforts for the DCS.
He pointed out that the visits will provide a first-hand orientation to the challenges in the Correctional System and an opportunity to meet with correctional officers, other staff; inmates and wards.
Charles, met with the Commissioner of Corrections, Ina Hunter-Fairweather, Senior Director of the Offender Management Division, Laura Plunkett, and Policy Manager within the Ministry, Juliet Dougherty earlier this week, a release from the ministry said.
According to the ministry, the meeting focused primarily on policy initiatives geared towards enhancing officers’ welfare, increasing effectiveness and participation in rehabilitation programmes, providing adequate waiting facilities for visitors and advancing prisoners’ literacy and rehabilitation.
He further noted that “to reduce crime we must reduce the rate of re-offending and likewise the inmate population. It is essential that the types of programmes in which inmates and wards are engaged must be pragmatic and diversified to meet market needs and enhance employment options for offenders upon their release”.
As such, Charles has directed that there be a review of the current programmes with intent to increase effectiveness by adjusting, expanding and implementing new offerings where necessary, the release added.
Charles emphasized that, “staff of the DCS must be valued and recognized for their Herculean work under stressful conditions and must never be forgotten”.

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