Tue | Nov 30, 2021

DCS inmates maintain high GPA

Published:Thursday | May 6, 2021 | 12:25 AM
 Staff Officer Peter Jarrett monitors the four inmates currently enrolled at the University of Commonwealth Caribbean as they participate in an online class from the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre computer lab.
Staff Officer Peter Jarrett monitors the four inmates currently enrolled at the University of Commonwealth Caribbean as they participate in an online class from the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre computer lab.
One of the inmates currently enrolled at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean completes an assignment at the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre school library.
One of the inmates currently enrolled at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean completes an assignment at the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre school library.
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The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has announced that four inmates and one correctional officer from the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre (St CACC) who received scholarships to attend the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) have been maintaining high grade point averages (GPA) in the Associate of Science Degree in the Business Administration Programme.

They all started the course at the UCC in January 2020 and have all maintained a GPA average above 3.5 with the highest being 3.81. “I am quite pleased with the progress so far, they have applied themselves and are reaping the reward,” said supervising Staff Officer Peter Jarrett.

Staff Officer Maxine McPherson, who has overall responsibility for training, says the four inmates are a great example to their peers. “We have seen a stronger desire amongst the inmates to participate in the school programme at all levels as they, too, hope to, one day, get the opportunity to attend university. We are grateful they are using the opportunity and making us proud.”

Meanwhile, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Matthew Samuda, says, “We are pleased to know that the inmates and wards in the DCS have been maximising the rehabilitation opportunities provided to them by external partners. We will continue to increase our efforts of providing the necessary educational avenues through tertiary and skills training opportunities, so that when they are released, they will be better able to contribute productively to society.”

The inmates expressed that they have seen personal growth since their enrolment in university. “The programme has helped me to look beyond my present situation, as I am able to apply myself and use my time here wisely, so that I will positively contribute to society when I return home,” said the inmate.

Another inmate conveyed his gratitude for the learning opportunity. “I am taking pride in my grades so it forces me to put my best foot forward despite the obstacles, and I have seen the growth. I hope other inmates get a chance to participate in the programme as well.”

The Associate of Science Degree in Business Administration forms part of a memorandum of understanding signed among the Ministry of National Security through the DCS, Stand Up for Jamaica and the UCC. It provides full-tuition scholarships, each valued at J$600,000 to the beneficiaries. The pilot project commenced in January 2020 and will end in December 2021.