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Bunting sends out SOS for juveniles

Published:Friday | May 30, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Jevene Bent (right), commissioner of corrections, shows off a craft item made by inmates at the correctional facility to Hugh Faulkner, executive director of the Legal Aid Council, at The Department of Correctional Services mini-exposition held at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre on Wednesday. - Jermaine Barnaby/ Photographer

Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer

NATIONAL SECURITY Minister Peter Bunting on Wednesday made a national appeal for help in finding a suitable facility to house young girls who have run afoul of the law.

He said while there has been much improvement in the physical conditions under which female juveniles are now housed in one central location at the South Camp Juvenile Correctional and Remand Centre, St Andrew, this was far from ideal.

"One area that we could do with some assistance, and in this case, I am not even necessarily asking for financial assistance in the first instance, but we have said that we want to identify a child-friendly facility to relocate the female juveniles from South Camp to something that is more like a school or a home rather than a correctional facility," he told the mini-exposition at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre.

CRAFT SHOWCASE

The event was used to showcase metal craft, wood-work, clothing and textiles, art and craft and agricultural value-added products made by inmates from adult and juvenile correctional centres across the island.

Continuing, the security minister admitted that while he had been working with Education Minister Ronald Thwaites to find a solution, they had not been successful.

"At this time, we haven't located anywhere, so we are wide open. So if JFJ (Jamaicans for Justice) can help to locate a suitable facility, we would appreciate that; if Food For The Poor can help us to locate a suitable facility, we would appreciate that because we want to get that done this fiscal year. We don't want it to go over into another fiscal year, he said.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com