Ja shuns Britain's prison deal

January 14, 2017
Kamina Johnson Smith
The Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre in Kingston.
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The Government has rejected a proposal from Britain to help build a prison here in order for them to send back criminals.

Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica's foreign minister, said that the deal would not have been beneficial to Jamaica.

"Assistance with the construction of a maximum security prison could be beneficial to Jamaica's Department of Correctional Services depending on the terms and conditions on which it is offered, and the priority of such assistance as compared to other priorities of the Government of Jamaica. This Administration does not believe that the terms offered would be beneficial to Jamaica as a whole," the minister said.

 

40 per cent

 

The UK had offered to give Jamaica $5.5 billion to for the 1,500-bed facility. That money would only be 40 per cent of the cost of the new prison. Jamaica would have to find the rest and would have to accept criminals sent back from Britain to complete their sentence here.

In the meantime, Johnson Smith said that more than 20,000 Jamaicans were deported from Britain between January 2008 and December 2015.

According to Kamina Johnson Smith, the minister of foreign affairs, 17,016 of the deportees are males and 3,156 are females.

Johnson Smith said that as at September 2016, some 556 Jamaicans were incarcerated in prisons in the United Kingdom. She said 532 were males and 24 females.

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