Mon | Aug 19, 2019

St Catherine inmates seeking to market products

Published:Thursday | July 18, 2019 | 9:57 AM
Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw (right), reads the labels of one of the wines produced by inmates at the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre during a recent visit to the facility. Sharing the moment are Superintendent Herbert McFarlane and Correctional Officer, Joel Lilly - Contributed photo.

Prisoners at the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre have created 30 products, which the facility hopes to place on the market shortly.

The items, which have received the endorsement of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw, include Strawberry Hot Sauce, Peanut and Banana Beer, Potato Ketchup, Breadfruit Pudding Mix, Sweet Potato Body Lotion and Breadfruit Hair Conditioner.  

Twenty-five members of the correctional centre’s 4-H Club are involved in the manufacturing process under the supervision of correctional officers and members of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs.

During a recent tour of the facility, Shaw commended the various stakeholders involved in the initiative, adding that the project will contribute to the growth of agro-processing in Jamaica.

Executive Director, Jamaica 4H Clubs, Dr Ronald Blake, said he is pleased to see the difference the project has made in the lives of inmates.

He hailed the Government of Japan and the United Nations Development Programme for the “significant contributions” in the development of the facility’s agro-processing and manufacturing unit, where the products are made.

Blake noted that the project is helping to rehabilitate and equip the inmates with viable skills, which will ensure that they can be successfully reintegrated into society upon their release.

Correctional Officer, Joel Lilly, told JIS News that in addition to generating income for the correctional facility, the project aims to change the lives of inmates by teaching them lifelong skills in manufacturing and agro-processing.

“We want Jamaicans to support this initiative [by buying the products] because it helps to facilitate rehabilitation. This programme is where inmates learn to be better persons in society. The outward input [from members of the society] will help us to move further and to get more inmates involved in the process,” Lilly said.

Lilly said that the raw materials are sourced locally, with some items grown on the grounds of the facility.  

All sauce preparation and fermentation are done at the agro-processing centre.

The 30 items, which will be marketed under the ‘St. CACC 4-H Club Quality Products’ brand, were showcased at an expo held at the correctional centre on June 17 and 18.

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