Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Major General (Retired) Stewart Saunders (centre); shakes hands with British High Commissioner, David Fitton (right); and Deputy Commissioner of Police with responsibility for the crime, Carl Williams, after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU), aimed at strengthening the monitoring and management of deportees. JIS Photo
By Shelly-Ann Irving
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) -- The government of Jamaica’s efforts to improve the monitoring and management of criminal deportees have been strengthened with an agreement with the United Kingdom government.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Major General (Retired) Stewart Saunders and British High Commissioner, David Fitton, on December 13, signed a memorandum of understanding for an 18-month project, aimed at boosting the capacity of the Deportee Monitoring Unit (DMU).
The initiative, which got underway in November, will provide for the training of key personnel, and provision of equipment such as computers, cameras, printers, servers, telephone handsets, cell phones and office furniture.
The objectives are to improve the systems of reception, processing and monitoring of deported migrants; and reduce the risk of recidivism through improved management and reintegration.
“With this project, we sincerely hope that we will be better able to execute processes relating to the rehabilitation of these individuals and most importantly, to protect the citizenry against deportees, who are likely to continue to cause harm within the society,” said Saunders.
He said that there is a component of the programme to provide the deportees with life skills and other learning opportunities to ensure that they are properly reintegrated into the society.
“We are seeking to ensure that they are gainfully employed within the society, having been properly adjusted,” he stated.
Fitton said that the UK government has been working with Jamaica to return and resettle Jamaicans, who have overstayed their time in the UK and others who served criminal sentences.
“Each year, we bring back about 400 Jamaicans and we work very closely with this ministry to ensure that they are properly reintegrated into the society. We are also seeking new ways to ensure that the reintegration process continues and that they can acquire skills and become valued members of the community,” he stated.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) with responsibility for crime, Carl Williams, said that there are quite a number of people, who have been deported to Jamaica and are law abiding, however, there are those who are “dangerous offenders”.
“They were dangerous offenders when they left here, went to the UK and we know that they have no intention to change… as a result, we need to monitor them and this project will assist us to do so,” Williams said.