Success from behind bars - Female inmates excel in CSEC
Proving to Jamaicans that good things can come out of being incarcerated, 16 females from the Fort Augusta Women's Adult Correctional Facilities, now located on South Camp Road, St Andrew, excelled in the recent Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate exams and were duly awarded.
Yesterday, the media were invited to the institution to share in the moment, witnessing the proud women smiling from ear to ear.
The CSEC passes among the 29 females who sat the exams were: 100 per cent in food, nutrition and health; 75 per cent in office administration; 66 per cent in human and social biology; and 60 per cent in electronic document preparation and management.
One inmate, who has been incarcerated since she was 15 years old, was happy about securing two passes to add to the three she had from last year's sitting.
She is now 23 years old and will be back on the streets next month after winning an appeal of her 18-year sentence for manslaughter. She insisted that her actions were in self-defence.
HELP TO FIND A JOB
"Being in here is hard. There are advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that I get to go to school, but when I come out, I don't know what I will do. Many people I see have subjects and sit down and still don't have a work. I feel nice to know that I will be out, but the job is my problem. I think when we come out of here, they must look a job for us, else when I get out, I am just going to be sitting down," she said.
Rudyard Spencer, state minister in the Ministry of National Security, with portfolio responsibility for corrections, made a commitment to the women that if they qualify for university, he will help with the financing.
Executive director of Stand Up For Jamaica, Carla Gullotta, assured the successful inmates that avenues are being opened up for them to have employment when they reintegrate with society.
The teachers, who were mostly inmates, received special recognition for guiding the women.
The event was also attended by Commissioner of Corrections Ina Hunter.