As part of their rehabilitation process, young persons at the South Camp Juvenile Remand and Correctional Centre in Kingston have completed a six-week summer empowerment programme.
The initiative, which was spearheaded through the ‘We Transform’ Programme, involved sessions facilitated by the National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) and activities at the recent children’s expo, held at the Jamaica Conference Centre.
There was also art and craft at the South Camp centre, where wards expressed themselves through creative works, such as tie and dye, beaded jewellery, painting of murals and bottle décor, as well as speech and performances.
Speaking at the closing ceremony yesterday (August 27) at the institution, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Dianne McIntosh, said all the sessions were about “transformation”.
“It is about changing, revitalising ourselves, having hope, and looking for a new day. No matter what your circumstances, it doesn’t have to be what it is now; it is always about changing for the better,” the Permanent Secretary told the audience.
Commissioner of Corrections, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired), Gary Rowe, said he is “encouraged” by the creative works done by the wards, and underscored that a great deal of the country’s future “is in your hands as the next generation of creative thinkers”.
While lauding the various partners and personnel from the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) for making the programme a success, he encouraged the youth to “keep your eyes on what is your vision, what you want to become, and at the same time, enjoy what you do”.
Meanwhile, Superintendent in charge of the South Camp Juvenile Remand and Correctional Centre, Maulette White, highlighted that a 2014 study conducted by the United States (US)-based research group, RAND Corporation, indicated that juveniles who participate in rehabilitation are 43 per cent less likely to return to wrongdoing.
“We appreciate all that has been done for the wards, and anticipate even greater support in the future as we work together to transform the youth in our care,” she said.