Spencer says high percentage of inmates passing CSEC exams

Monday, November 19, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Deputy Leader for Area Council 3, Rudyard Spencer, says that the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has been focusing on educating people detained in the island's prisons.

Spencer, who is minister of state in the Ministry of National Security in charge of the correctional services, told Sunday's Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) annual conference at the National Arena that there are many young men and women without hope languishing in the prisons.

However, he said that the principle of the JLP is that they must be given a chance to rehabilitate, and the department is focusing on educating them.

“It is not by accident that we sent up 90 students to sit CSEC Examinations. I want you to know that of the 90 people we put up, 67 per cent of those young people without a chance were successful in the exams,” Spencer said.

He said that the DCS had a special ceremony for them, and three young ladies among them, who had each passed six subjects, said that they were glad that they came to the institution, because without the opportunity they would not have had the chance to sit the exam.

“One the young girls said, 'Mr Spencer today is the beginning of the rest of life, because I will be going on to a tertiary institution'...We have decided that those young people, when they are released to their families, they must be able to make a more meaningful contribution to the society: That is prosperity,” he stated.

Spencer also told the conference that a new policy at the prisons has engaged the employment of an agriculturalist, which will ensure that, as of next year, the people eating within the prisons will be eating only what they grow.

He said that some inmates joined the 4-H movement, and have been doing exceptionally well, in terms of their farming successes.

The JLP's Area Council 3 comprises the parishes of Clarendon, Manchester and St Ann.

Balford Henry

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