Hostel for low-risk inmates to improve population control

Hostel for low-risk inmates to improve population control

Thursday, January 10, 2019

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MINISTER of State in the Ministry of National Security Rudyard Spencer says the Howard Pre-Release Hostel at Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre, which was reopened on Tuesday, will improve population control at correctional centres.

Spencer, who has portfolio responsibility for the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), was speaking during the reopening ceremony on Tuesday.

“The DCS has developed a strategic plan to implement a pre-release hostel programme, which will provide a stimulating environment that will enhance the gradual reintegration of inmates into society,” he said.

The minister further noted that the hostel programme will house low-risk inmates who have less than 18 months of their sentences remaining, and are deemed to be adequately prepared for release.

“For its initial phase, 10 inmates will be selected by the hostel committee, which will be chaired by the deputy commissioner of custodial services and include a director, a superintendent, principal probation after-care officer, chaplain or designate, hostel manager, and a representative from the Offender Management Unit in the Ministry of National Security,” Spencer said.

He added:“This hostel is a part of the [Ministry of] National Security’s strategic plan to successfully rehabilitate offenders. It allows the low-risk inmates to experience some independence during their daily operations in the hostel.”

For her part, deputy commissioner of corrections, custodial services, Joyce Stone, said, “The department is conscious of the prevailing environment which inhibits offenders from gaining formal employment, hence plans are afoot to have residence engaged in self-sufficiency programmes such as bee keeping and ornamental fish rearing projects during their stay in the hostel.”

She added that residents will be required to contribute 25 per cent of their earnings towards the maintenance of the hostel.

The deputy commissioner said, too, that inmates will be provided with medical services, counselling, religious and recreational programmes, and will be required to give community services.

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