Department of Correctional Services making improvements under P-ROCFriday, June 18, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Matthew Samuda says new perimeter fencing, digital courtrooms and increased water storage are just a few of the most recent investments made in the Department of Correctional Services (DCS).
According to a statement from the ministry, these investments were made under the Government's Project Rebuild, Overhaul and Construct (P-ROC).
Samuda, who visited the Horizon Adult Remand Centre and the Metcalfe Street Secure Juvenile Remand Centre, yesterday, said “we have made significant investments.''
''We've added 44,000 gallons of water storage as well as our own water truck to the DCS' fleet, to ensure we are able to manage water supply for sanitation. We've also installed a number of wash stations in the facilities but without water supply these wash stations cannot work”, he said.
At the Horizon Adult Remand Centre where infrastructural works are being undertaken at a cost of approximately $6 million, Samuda said that the general scope of work falls under maintenance.
“The fencing is really some maintenance work. At the end of the day, we have a significant responsibility for rehabilitation. However, our major responsibility is security for those both inside and outside these facilities, which is why we need to ensure that they are appropriately enclosed,'' he added.
While there are no active COVID-19 cases within the DCS, the minister said that with the implementation of digital court rooms, the DCS has managed to reduce the spread of the virus as well as travel expenses to attend court hearings.
“One of the things that we've done over the last year is to facilitate mention dates digitally. This means that the inmates who have court dates are connected to the Court virtually, which reduces the need for transportation and has significantly assisted us in reducing movement, keeping the COVID spread low,” Samuda said.
The minister was accompanied by Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Desmond Mckenzie as well as representatives from the National Works Agency and the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) to inspect the correctional facilities' infrastructure and discuss plans to undertake improvement works to the neighbouring gully of the Horizon Adult Remand Centre.
The ministers then toured the Denham Town and Darling Street Police Stations in the Kingston Western Division.
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