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Wards of the State encouraged to make use of rehabilitation programmes

Published:Monday | April 30, 2018 | 12:00 AM
State Minister in the Ministry of National Security Rudyard Spencer (right), interacts with a ward of the State at the Rio Cobre Juvenile Correctional Centre, in St. Catherine, during a tour last week.

State Minister in the Ministry of National Security Rudyard Spencer has encouraged wards of the State at the Rio Cobre Juvenile Correctional Centre in St. Catherine to make full use of the rehabilitation programmes.

Spencer, who toured the institution last week, urged the boys to leave the bad attitudes behind and grasp all the skills that are offered at the facility.

"Muster the courage to leave them behind, and come in expecting very good tailoring, very good barbering, and agriculture," the minister said.

Spencer further encouraged the youth not to be bothered by labels that will be put on them, but to use the offerings of education and training to make themselves counted when they return to their communities.

 

Make use of opportunity

 

"If you leave here with skills, if you leave here more accomplished in your examinations, they can only say, 'God be praised' because you are a better person than the (one) who came in," he said.

Commissioner of Corrections Ina Hunter said that the Organization of American States is helping "tremendously" with juvenile institutions in Jamaica, and at the Rio Cobre facility, they are doing expansion work to the classrooms and home economics centre.

"The intent is to have educational activities in a better environment, with good facilities, so that the children can be better accommodated at rehabilitation," she said, underscoring that they were "maximising" all the available space at the facility for rehabilitation, with a focus on farming.

Hunter pointed out that there is need for more persons and organisations to get involved in the reform of the juveniles, adding that when offenders are reformed, this improves national security.