In­mates get to speak with loved ones via Skype

The Star (Jamaica) - - NEWS THE WEEKEND STAR -

In­mates be­ing held at the Tower Street Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre and Rio Co­bre Ju­ve­nile Cen­tre will now be able to speak with loved ones through a new Skype pro­gramme.

Ac­cord­ing to Dex­ter Thomp­son, di­rec­tor of cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tion and pub­lic re­la­tions at the Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices, the in­tended pur­pose of this ges­ture is to help with the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of in­mates.

“Most of these in­mates are com­ing back out into so­ci­ety, so we have to re­ha­bil­i­tate them be­cause they are the same per­sons who are go­ing to be our neigh­bours. They are al­ready pay­ing the penalty for their crimes, so we can’t treat them like an­i­mals. We have to bring in the fam­ily and help to lead them in a pos­i­tive path,” he said.

GEO­GRAPH­I­CAL LO­CA­TION

Per­sons wish­ing to speak to their loved ones at ei­ther pe­nal in­sti­tu­tions can do so at Lock­ett Av­enue in Kingston, the Span­ish Town pro­ba­tion of­fice in St Cather­ine and the Mon­tego Bay pro­ba­tion of­fice in St James.

“These cen­tres were cho­sen based on the geo­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion that they are in, so peo­ple from St Thomas and sur­round­ing parishes can come to Lock­ett Av­enue and are able to see and speak to their loved ones for 15 min­utes once a month. This is in ad­di­tion to their reg­u­lar vis­its, and this is free to the in­mates,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Thomp­son, the Skype ini­tia­tive should be rolled out in all cor­rec­tional fa­cil­i­ties in the very near fu­ture. The pro­gramme is cur­rently avail­able to all in­mates who are al­lowed vis­i­ta­tions.

He added that the ini­tia­tive is wel­comed by the in­mates and their rel­a­tives.

The houses where the four peo­ple were killed in Lit­tle Lon­don, West­more­land, early Thurs­day morn­ing.

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