Samuda says DCS to get technology upgradesFriday, September 24, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The procurement of Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) to enhance surveillance in correctional facilities is now underway says Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Matthew Samuda, during his State of the Nation Presentation in the Senate earlier today.
The Government is building out an Information Communication Technology (ICT) plan for the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) that rests on four pillars — computer networking, communications, surveillance, and connectivity.
“The first priority of the plan is to push forward the rollout of the network infrastructure at all DCS facilities and offices. Currently, just about half of these locations have adequate computer networks installed. As a result, vital information and data must still be recorded and stored in hard copy. The inefficiency in terms of physical space and time spent searching through files for information cannot be overemphasised. This underscores the Government's increased focus on adequately equipping the DCS to record and access information digitally,” Samuda said.
He added that electronic surveillance protects correctional officers and inmates by recording incidents for independent verification.
The ministry's Security Strengthening Project — which is funded through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) — has committed funding for the procurement and installation of the cameras.
This ICT outlay, valued at approximately $30 million per institution, will also include the establishment of internal networks, a monitoring room at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre and a monitoring centre at the DCS Headquarters, the ministry said.
It added that plans are underway to implement an institution-wide electronic correctional management system within the DCS.
Samuda said the system will facilitate the digital collection of data, simplify the monitoring of inmates and provide other vital management tools. It is the first step toward the true modernisation of Jamaica’s correctional services.