Soldiers to secure prisons
Jamaica Defence Force soldiers are to take over full responsibility for security at the Tower Street Adult
Correctional Centre (formerly General Penitentiary), the St. Catherine District Prison and
The South Camp Rehabilitation Centre, National Security Minister K D Knight confirmed
The Minister said 170 recruits were now in training
and "within another week or so, an additional 130 are to begin training".
"As soon as their training is completed they will assume full
responsibility for security in the three prisons," he told The Gleaner.
He noted that there were three aspects to the
management of the island's prisons - rehabilitation, normal care of the prisoners and
security at the institutions. "Warders will have responsibility for
rehabilitation and normal care while the military through the Third Battalion (National
Reserves) will take on the security aspect," Mr. Knight said.
He stressed that the recruits would be given
specialised training to fit them into the programme of the Correctional Services
Department. The Minister said that this approach had been discussed with the
unions representing correctional officers from as far back as January and that no
objections had been raised.
Asked whether the programme might result in the
displacement of some of the current warders he said: "Whatever the result of the
disciplinary actions being contemplated, these people (the new recruits) will be in the
Unions representing the prison warders could not be
reached for comment.