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Community-service orders saving Gov't millions - Bent

Published:Friday | January 24, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Commissioner of Corrections Jevene Bent has disclosed that community-service orders handed down by the courts to persons convicted of drug and minor offences are saving the Government millions of dollars.

Bent disclosed that the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) now supervises close to 4,000 community service orders given by the courts.

She said persons instructed by the courts to do community service, in most instances, complete between 40 and 400 hours.

"They clean police stations, hospitals, infirmaries, courthouses and schools," Bent told members of the Internal and External Affairs Committee of Parliament on Tuesday.

"We save the Government millions of dollars each year, using 'orderees' to clean," she stressed.

"Currently, several hundreds of hours are given by convicted people for drugs and minor offences and they have to work in the communities," Bent added.

She said more than 200 convicted persons were doing work at schools, police station and the hospital in May Pen, Clarendon.

The head of the DCS also pointed out that the correctional service has used skills within the institution to carry out tiling, carpentry, masonry, and other works to maintain the infrastructure.

"At the Tower Street Correctional Centre, five classrooms are now being constructed to assist with educational programmes," she said, adding that the DCS has received financial support from its partners to carry out the work.