Sun | Dec 5, 2021

No takers for deportee programme

Published:Wednesday | September 22, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer


The National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) is making a public appeal for deported migrants, especially those with a substance dependency, to enrol in its nine-month reintegration programme geared at helping them become productive members of the society.

"It is very difficult for these persons, who are deported and are also drug abusers who have lived in a First-World country for the greater portion of their lives, to adjust to our lifestyle in Jamaica. They need to be resocialised," Sislyn Malcolm, national director of field services at NCDA, told The Gleaner yesterday.

Malcolm said the Jamaica Reducing Re-Offending Programme (JRRAP), which is conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of National Security, was initiated in a bid to rescue deportees from the grip of feeling lost and marginalised.

The intervention, Malcolm explained, was not only to help deported migrants with a history of drug abuse, but other deportees who do not have any relative or are not able to make contact with relatives.

"We also assist in the reintegration and rehabilitation of substance abusers within this population, provide life-coping skills to those who are deemed to be habitual drug users and abusers," she added.

"It is hoped that this initiative will enable these individuals to successfully reintegrate into society and become responsible citizens."

The JRRAP programme, which is funded at a cost of a little over J$9 million by the United Kingdom government, has no participant and will end in March 2011.

Malcolm expressed concern at the short duration of the programme and hopes other countries will fund similar initiatives.

"While most of our deportees come from the UK, they also come from Canada and the United States, and if we are able to receive some assistance from these countries with regard to this programme we would be grateful," Malcolm appealed.

Interested persons who wish to contact the National Council on Drug Abuse can call the toll-free number at 1-888-991-4244 or text the word HELP to 564-3784.