College scholarships for four inmates, two correctional officers – Jamaica Observer

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Minister of State at the Department of National Security, Zavia Mayne (standing center), observes the signing of a memorandum of understanding to facilitate the awarding of six full scholarships for four inmates, and two service officers corrections to study toward an associate degree in business administration at UCC. The signatories are (seated from left to right) Commissioner of Corrections, Department of Corrections (DCS), Lieutenant Colonel (Retired), Gary Rowe; Deputy Executive Chair, University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) Group, Geraldine Adams; and Stand up for Jamaica Executive Director Carla Gullotta. Also witnesses to the proceedings are Department Head, UCC Business Administration, Sonia Davidson (standing left); and the ministry’s chief technical director, Shauna Trowers. The signing took place on Wednesday February 23 at UCC Kingston and was streamed live on the DCS Instagram page.

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Four inmates and two corrections officers will benefit from scholarships for an associate’s degree in business administration at the Caribbean Commonwealth University (UCC) as part of a partnership between the government and the private sector.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate the awarding of the six full scholarships was signed on Wednesday, February 23 by representatives from the Department of National Security, Department of Corrections (DCS), UCC and non-governmental organization (NGO), Stand Up for Jamaica.

The scholarships will be offered to inmates and correctional officers at St Catherine Adult Correctional Center and South Camp Adult Correctional Center in Kingston.

They will benefit from fully paid tuition, appropriately equipped laboratories, books, materials and student support services, to facilitate online courses.

Minister of State for the Department of National Security Zavia Mayne, in her remarks at the virtual signing ceremony, said the awarding of the six scholarships is “a step in the right direction” as the department and its stakeholders seek to provide more opportunities for learning in correctional facilities.

He noted that the ministry and DCS are committed to “giving inmates hope for a better future and the opportunity to become better versions of themselves, once they have served their sentence and ‘they are reintegrated into society at large’.

Commissioner of Corrections Lt. Col. (Retired) Gary Rowe said DCS is dedicated to the higher education and rehabilitation of inmates under its care, as well as the welfare of officers within its establishments.

He said the awarding of the scholarships ‘means people in prison are capable and if the bar is set high people can rise to the occasion’.

He noted that it also indicates that “we are making progress as we implement measures to enhance the individual development of our inmates as they prepare for successful reintegration into society.”

The scholarship is a continuation of a pilot initiative that began in January 2020 at St Catherine’s Adult Correctional Center which saw full tuition fees paid for four inmates and one correctional officer to pursue a two-year associate’s degree in business administration.

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