First Look

Wards at Metcalfe/ South Camp benefit from A New Path

Ministry of National Security | 2016-06-24 00:00:00

Over 100 juvenile wards of the state at the South Camp and Metcalfe facilities have successfully been reintegrated into mainstream society.

This was revealed by the General Secretariat of the Organisation of American States (OAS) at a press briefing on the Chilean Study Tour hosted by Minister of State, Senator Pearnel Charles Jr. on June 21 at the Ministry of National Security’s head office.

Since the 2014 launch of the programme by the Ministry of National Security, 123 girls and 114 boys, have been returned to formal education at the secondary and tertiary level; four wards have obtained employment and 19 boys have been enrolled in programmes at the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL).

Cumulatively, 280 wards have received psycho-social support and 160 wards have been released from the South Camp and Metcalfe facilities.

The project titled ‘A New Path – Promoting a Healthy

Environment and Productive Alternatives for Juvenile Remandees and Offenders in Jamaica’ engaged wards with activities in a six- week summer programme with the assistance of Junior Achievement, a music programme in collaboration with the National Youth Orchestra and a sports aspect facilitated by the Youth for Development Network.

State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jnr. Recently led a delegation to Santiago de Chile as part of the second phase of the initiative to observe the functioning of the Chilean juvenile justice system and exchange best practices to enhance the operation of correctional facilities in both jurisdictions.

“The takeaways afforded by this visit are going to prove useful as the Ministry of National Security undertakes penal reform and decides on how to treat with children to reduce recidivism and in the long term, effect sustainable reduction in crime and violence,” the Minister stated about the visit.

This was reiterated by OAS representative, Jeanelle van GlaanenWeygel who said, “the partnership with Chile will assist both nations in sharing best practices, as well as, address the challenges that exist.”

Post-release support also forms a critical element of the New Path project. Once the wards are released, this is followed up with counselling, home visits and telephone conversations.

A more integrated approach is being taken towards this in the form of an electronic case management system, ideally among all correctional institutions that work with young people.

It is anticipated that in the third phase, the Chilean government will send representatives to Jamaica to work in juvenile correctional centres.

The project which is managed by the OAS and the Trust for the America, is financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) at a cost of US$1.93 million.

Posted By :Gillian Haughton

Company Name : Ministry of National Security

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