Categorized | International, Local, News, Regional

Opposition leader wants schools rather than prison

Prime Minister Portia simpson Miller introduces British Prime Minister David Cameron (Left) to Opposition Leader Andrew Holness.

Prime Minister Portia simpson Miller introduces British Prime Minister David Cameron (Left) to Opposition Leader Andrew Holness.

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller Wednesday said that her administration had formally received a proposal from Britain to construct a prison on the island that will assist in housing Jamaican inmates in Britain even as Opposition Leader Andrew Holness said he would have preferred schools being built than prisons.

“The government of Jamaica formally received the UK proposal concerning the construction of a new correctional facility in Jamaica,” Prime Minister Simpson Miller told a joint sitting of the Parliament that was also addressed by visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The two leaders held bi lateral talks on Tuesday and Prime Minister Simpson Miller said the discussions “provided a framework for further discussions on this and other matters of mutual interest to our two countries.

“At the same time we continue to work together on the global challenges for the attainment of a better quality of life for the peoples of the globe,” she added.

London said that £25 million (One British pound =US$1.51 cents) would go towards funding the construction of the prison allowing for Jamaicans incarcerated in England to complete their sentences here.

But as he addressed the legislators, Holness, the leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and a former education minister, noted Britain’s efforts at building its society based on a sound educational background and that such a policy should be adopted here.

“The key lesson here is educating our people particularly in skills is the best way to spur human development to support a growth agenda and to keep the poor and dispossessed out of prison.

“As it turns out, building schools contribute much more to the growth agenda than building prisons,” Holness said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Security said the construction of the prison would result in as many as 300 Jamaicans now imprisoned in the UK completing their sentences here.

Kingston has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with London to improve the conditions under which prisoners are held in Jamaica, consistent with best practice and international human rights standards, through the construction of a maximum-security prison here, the ministry explained.

According to the release, the new facility would accommodate between 1,500 and 2,000 inmates.

“Provision would be made for up to three hundred Jamaicans serving prison sentences in the UK, and subject to deportation at the end of their sentences, to be transferred to this new prison to complete their sentences” the Ministry of National Security said in a statement.

Under the MOU, the Parliament will have to pass framework legislation to allow for a prisoner transfer agreement to be signed with the United Kingdom.

The government said that among the benefits to the island, is that the new facility would allow the Department of Correctional Services to abandon the 17th and 19th century prisons that house thousands of Jamaican prisoners – most of whom are not hardened criminals – in harsh, overcrowded and dilapidated facilities.

The new facility will be designed and constructed with a focus on rehabilitation, which should reduce the high rates of recidivism that now occur.  It will benefit from modern architectural design and equipment that will increase both security and operational efficiency.

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Prime Minister Portia simpson Miller introduces British Prime Minister David Cameron (Left) to Opposition Leader Andrew Holness.

Prime Minister Portia simpson Miller introduces British Prime Minister David Cameron (Left) to Opposition Leader Andrew Holness.

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller Wednesday said that her administration had formally received a proposal from Britain to construct a prison on the island that will assist in housing Jamaican inmates in Britain even as Opposition Leader Andrew Holness said he would have preferred schools being built than prisons.

“The government of Jamaica formally received the UK proposal concerning the construction of a new correctional facility in Jamaica,” Prime Minister Simpson Miller told a joint sitting of the Parliament that was also addressed by visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron.

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The two leaders held bi lateral talks on Tuesday and Prime Minister Simpson Miller said the discussions “provided a framework for further discussions on this and other matters of mutual interest to our two countries.

“At the same time we continue to work together on the global challenges for the attainment of a better quality of life for the peoples of the globe,” she added.

London said that £25 million (One British pound =US$1.51 cents) would go towards funding the construction of the prison allowing for Jamaicans incarcerated in England to complete their sentences here.

But as he addressed the legislators, Holness, the leader of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and a former education minister, noted Britain’s efforts at building its society based on a sound educational background and that such a policy should be adopted here.

“The key lesson here is educating our people particularly in skills is the best way to spur human development to support a growth agenda and to keep the poor and dispossessed out of prison.

“As it turns out, building schools contribute much more to the growth agenda than building prisons,” Holness said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Security said the construction of the prison would result in as many as 300 Jamaicans now imprisoned in the UK completing their sentences here.

Kingston has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with London to improve the conditions under which prisoners are held in Jamaica, consistent with best practice and international human rights standards, through the construction of a maximum-security prison here, the ministry explained.

According to the release, the new facility would accommodate between 1,500 and 2,000 inmates.

“Provision would be made for up to three hundred Jamaicans serving prison sentences in the UK, and subject to deportation at the end of their sentences, to be transferred to this new prison to complete their sentences” the Ministry of National Security said in a statement.

Under the MOU, the Parliament will have to pass framework legislation to allow for a prisoner transfer agreement to be signed with the United Kingdom.

The government said that among the benefits to the island, is that the new facility would allow the Department of Correctional Services to abandon the 17th and 19th century prisons that house thousands of Jamaican prisoners – most of whom are not hardened criminals – in harsh, overcrowded and dilapidated facilities.

The new facility will be designed and constructed with a focus on rehabilitation, which should reduce the high rates of recidivism that now occur.  It will benefit from modern architectural design and equipment that will increase both security and operational efficiency.