Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Polygraphs for prison promotions

Published:Friday | March 3, 2017 | 3:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Stand Up for Jamaica has taken note, and stands in support, of calls by Pearnel Charles Jr, state minister national security, for greater transparency in the operations of Jamaica's correctional facilities.

We welcome wholeheartedly the steps announced by the minister to address the state of dysfunction that continues to permeate the correctional institutions. The systemwide review and crackdown on corrupt and criminal activities is long overdue and should be pursued to its fullest extent.

The measures, such as polygraphing all recruits and correctional officers, relocating inmates and rezoning spaces in all institutions, expanding CCTV coverage across the correctional system, as well as enhancing use of cellular phone jamming technology, will go a long way in improving the current state of affairs which has become untenable.

In respect of polygraphing recruits and correctional officers, Stand Up for Jamaica recommends that this measure be applied on a consistent basis to officers, particularly those that come up for promotions.

 

GOOD AND DECENT

 

Stand Up for Jamaica also hopes that the process to amend legislation, regulations and procedures to increase accountability and enforcement will be fast-tracked and will be applied with full effect.

We unequivocally affirm that the majority of correctional officers are good, decent professionals who should not be maligned because of the actions of a few bad apples.

We are heartened and pleased at the minister's insistence on the need for rehabilitation programmes rather than a punitive approach to incarceration. Whether it be through the radio stations, education, skills training or any of the other programmes offered by Stand Up for Jamaica in the correctional facilities, it is absolutely imperative that rehabilitation be the focus of correctional services.

CARLA GULLOTA

Stand Up Jamaica

sufjmedia@gmail.com