Inmates get to speak with loved ones via Skype
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.
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.