Samuda applauds measures against illegal contraband in correctional facilitiesTuesday, September 28, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Matthew Samuda, says the measures implemented by the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) to crack down on illegal contraband entering its facilities are yielding positive results.
Speaking in the Senate recently during the State of the Nation Debate, Samuda, said that 2,300 cell phones were seized in correctional facilities over the last 12 months.
According to the minster, among the steps being implemented are amendments to the legislative framework to criminalise possession, use and smuggling of electronic devices, particularly cell phones, into correctional facilities.
“If we do not get the phones out, we cannot curtail and stop the running of gangs behind our facilities,” he said.
In June this year, Cabinet approved the drafting instructions for legislative amendments to various sections of the Corrections Act, 1985 and the Correctional Institutional (Adult Correctional Centre) Rule, 1991.
These will address the specific issue of prohibited items in Jamaica's correctional institutions that allow for unauthorised communication outside the facility.
Samuda said there will be “adjustment of training manuals and retraining of correctional officers [and] infrastructural changes at points of entry”.
He added that appropriate technology is also being procured to monitor entranceways, search and scan for devices and disrupt electronic communications.
He said that the DCS strives to play its part in protecting the public from dangerous actors, deterring crime, and administering justice for those who have been wronged by criminal elements, thereby helping Jamaica grow more secure, peaceful, and just.