Juvenile offenders put on New Path

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SCORES of young people in remand centres and State-care facilities are to benefit from training and apprenticeship under the ‘A New Path’ programme.

This is being facilitated under a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Organisation of American States (OAS), Trust for the Americas, Heart Trust/NTA, and the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme at the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) training facility in downtown Kingston on Tuesday.

Through this partnership, the HEART Trust and the HOPE Programme will train the youth in soft skills, which will emphasise core values, including patriotism, life skills development, cultural awareness and ethics.

As part of the agreement, the beneficiaries will be exposed to a four-month apprenticeship programme in various ministries, departments and agencies of government and private entities. They will receive a stipend as part of on-the-job training.

A New Path is a programme of the OAS and Trust for the Americas aimed at contributing to the reduction of recidivism among juvenile remandees and offenders, by offering reintegration services focused on social reintegration and economic inclusion.

Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security Rudyard Spencer, in his remarks at the signing, thanked the overseas agencies for partnering with Jamaica on A New Path.

He noted that since the programme’s implementation in 2015, more than 1,900 young people have received “intense training and some financial assistance”.

“It is the project’s objective to create a stable, productive and healthy environment for the juvenile detainees, remandees and those on parole, by improving the reintegration services being provided,” he noted.

Spencer said the programme is also enhancing the DCS’ capacity to provide the best rehabilitation services for youth offenders.


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