Thu | Aug 16, 2018

Spencer pushes food production at Horizon Remand Centre

Published:Friday | June 1, 2018 | 12:00 AMCarlene Davis/Gleaner Writer
Acting Supt Louis Ferrigon (left) of the Horizon Adult Remand Centre in St Andrew shows State Minister in the Ministry of National Security Rudyard Spencer how the meals are prepared at the facility during a tour on Wednesday.

State minister in the Ministry of National Security Rudyard Spencer has expressed concern that the Horizon Adult Remand Centre wasn't doing enough to feed itself.

Spencer, during a tour of the centre on Wednesday, said that he strongly believed that each correctional facility must be able to provide enough food to feed persons housed there.

"Whether you want to farm, raise chicken or goat ... I am insisting that all the lands available to you be fully utilised," Spencer told prison officials.

Speaking to The Gleaner, Acting Superintendent Louis Ferrigon welcomed the minister's proposal but indicated a preference to cultivate quick crops like "callaloo, lettuce, cabbage, pak choi [and] anything that is easy to take care of, nothing that would overwhelm us in terms of labour because this is a remand centre, so we don't have that kind of labour force here".

 

Inadequate facilities

 

Spencer further noted the poor condition of the workers' quarters.

"I'm appalled by the facilities for the officers. It is bad and must be fixed promptly. I'm going to give you my word that it will be fixed. This is no place after you have worked all day to take a rest," said Spencer.

"I'm very concerned about the doctor's room, where they have to dispense medicine. It is woefully small and inadequate, and I will be dealing with that.

"All in all, what the Horizon Adult Remand Centre has to offer is not bad; however, those things that need fixing must be fixed," said the state minister.

Since his appointment as state minister in the Ministry of National Security in March, Spencer has been touring correctional facilities to assess their needs.