Fri | Apr 10, 2020

New beginnings for correctional facilities - Spencer

Published:Friday | April 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Rudyard Spencer (left), minister of state, Ministry of National Security, greets girls at the South Camp Juvenile Correctional Centre on Camp Road, Kingston, during a tour yesterday. He is accompanied by Ina Hunter, commissioner of corrections.

Rudyard Spencer, newly appointed state minister in the Ministry of National Security, has promised to continue what he described as tremendous work by his predecessor, Senator Pearnel Charles, while encouraging girls at the South Camp Juvenile Correctional Centre to not be bound by their circumstances.

Speaking during a tour of the facility in Kingston yesterday, Spencer said his aim was to do all that was possible to improve the development of youth who come into contact with government agencies.

"We have children here who, due to no real fault of their own, find themselves in a situation where they have to be here. What I find amazing is that though you are here, you are trying to make the best use of your situation, and I am sure that it won't be long before most of you are out of here," he said.

"Minister Pearnel Charles Jr has laid the foundation," Spencer stated. "We hope that when you leave here, you will be leaving as a better person than when you came in. I don't want you for one moment to feel sorry for yourself. I want you, while you are here, to make the best of your opportunity and you will be surprised to see where you go from here," he continued.

He added, "I am promising you that this is just the beginning of something new. We hope that good things will come out of South Camp."

Commissioner of Corrections Ina Hunter, who participated in the tour, indicated that there was a high level of interest among residents to improve their well-being and development.

"You [girls] have tremendous talents and skills. What is encouraging is that you are interested in your own rehabilitation, because we can do all the activities, but much of what we do resides in how you respond. You have been responding very well," Hunter stated.