Wed | Jan 18, 2017

Foreign Affairs Minister to give update on UK prison deal Friday

Published:Wednesday | January 11, 2017 | 10:05 AM
Johnson Smith

Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith is expected to address the controversial United Kingdom (UK) prison deal in the Senate on Friday.

For months, Opposition Senator Lambert Brown has been pressing the Andrew Holness administration for answers to questions he tabled in July last year.

Brown has asked the Government to state whether the UK's help to build a maximum-security prison would be beneficial to the Department of Correctional Services and whether the Holness administration has been meeting with British Government officials since it took over the Government.

He has also asked for updated figures on British deportations to Jamaica and Jamaicans incarcerated in the UK.

During a visit to Jamaica in September 2015, then UK prime minister, David Cameron, triggered national fury when he said Jamaica had signed an agreement to get 40 per cent of the cost to build a new prison.

Cameron revealed that as part of the deal, 300 Jamaicans who are serving sentences in the UK prison system would be sent back to their homeland to complete their sentences.

The Jamaica Labour Party, which was in Opposition then, was among several local groups which publicly opposed the agreement.