Thu | Oct 19, 2017

Gov't to build $10b maximum-security facility in five years to replace two prisons

Published:Wednesday | August 19, 2015 | 9:05 PMLivern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
Bunting ... It is unnecessary and undesirable to keep low-risk prisoners in overcrowded maximum-security facilities which are not conducive to rehabilitation.

The government has announced that it is looking to build a new maximum-security facility in the next three to five years that could cost as much as $10 billion.

National Security Minister Peter Bunting says the proposed facility would accommodate between 1,500 and 2,000 prisoners and would replace the Tower Street and St Catherine adult correctional centres.

He says the both the St Catherine and the Tower Street prisons no longer serve any useful purpose and cannot be rehabilitated.

According to Bunting, the vast majority of inmates in the island’s prison system are classified as medium to low risk and are typically serving sentences under two years.

The Security Minister says it is unnecessary and undesirable to keep these persons in overcrowded maximum-security facilities which are not conducive to rehabilitation.

He says construction of the new block at Tamarind Farm is a modest but important start in the capital expenditure that is required by the correctional department.

The new block is expected to result in a 87 percent increase in the number of spaces at Tamarind Farm.