News in brief

Published: Friday | December 20, 2013 Comments 0

Drug Treatment Courts saves cash for justice system

Carol Hughes, principal executive officer at Court Management Services, has indicated that the intervention programme offered by the Drug Treatment Court has been saving the justice system between $3,000 and $13,000 for every person it helps.

Hughes noted that these savings reflect reduced prison costs, arrests, trials, and victimisation. She also said research has shown that the drug-court interventions reduce crime as much as 45 per cent.

Hughes was speaking at a graduation ceremony this week for persons who completed the programme.

The Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Court, which was established in 2001, offers a treatment programme for individuals who commit offences while under the influence of drugs, including alcohol, ganja, cocaine, morphine, opium and heroin.

The programme caters to persons 17 years and older, who do not have any mental condition that would restrict active participation.

Tessanne learns from Celine

During an appearance on American morning show 'Today' on NBC, Jamaica's Tessanne Chin yesterday shared advice she received after performing a duet with her "idol", Celine Dion, on Tuesday's finale of 'The Voice'.

Chin, who won the singing competition, charmed the 'Today' cast with her accent as fans waved Jamaican flags at the NBC Plaza in New York City.

She said Dion told her to wait five years before having children, and that she would heed the advice.

On being complimented on her smile after being announced the winner of 'The Voice', Chin said she was laughing at her husband.

MPs to spend Christmas Eve in House

Parliamentarians are scheduled to turn up for work on Christmas Eve as Jamaica ensures it meets International Monetary Fund (IMF) requirements.

Under the IMF agreement, Jamaica must pass critical pieces of legislation by year end.

The Houses of Parliament advised yesterday that the 63 members of the House of Representatives are to meet briefly to consider two bills.

Those bills are the Civil Service Establishment (General) Order, 2013 and the Civil Service Establishment (General) (Amendment) Order, 2013.

Last month, the leader of government business in the House, Phillip Paulwell, said elected members should be prepared to be at work up until December 17 or later.

The sitting is also to avoid stumbling at the next quarterly review under the four-year extended fund facility with the IMF.

Yesterday, the Fund officially confirmed that Jamaica passed the second test under its loan programme.

The completion of the review enables the disbursement of approximately US$30.8 million.

Invest in music talent, says UTech head

Citing Tessanne Chin's win on the American singing competition 'The Voice', the president of the University of Technology (UTech), Professor Errol Morrison, is urging the nation to invest more in local musical talent as a means of strengthening the country's potential for further economic development.

Morrison, who was the main speaker at Wednesday night's annual UTech western campuses Christmas social for MBA graduates, held at the Montego Bay Yacht Club, said Chin's victory was further proof that Jamaica has vast potential for commercial development, through the arts.

"There is so much success around Jamaica - our athletes [and] our songbirds, Tessanne being the latest. Let us not forget that we go way back over the last half a century, and one of the things I am really concerned about is that we have just not invested in this local talent, in this potential for development and commerce and we have been missing the bus time and time again," Morrison said.

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