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No release yet for the 'Cure'

By MEL COOKE and GERMAINE SMITH, STAR Reporters


file - Jah Cure

THOSE WHO HAVE been longing for Siccaturie 'Jah Cure' Alcock to be released, will have a little while longer to see the singer.

Jah Cure, who was transferred to the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre from the St. Catherine Adult Correctional Centre about four weeks ago, had his application for parole turned down last year despite a passionate campaign launched by his clique of concerned friends, family members, and entertainers. This was after he became eligible for parole on July 28, 2003.

Commissioner of Corrections Major Richard Reese said yesterday that a prisoner can re-apply for parole within a year of being declined. The Parole Board however, which decides whether or not to release a prisoner, is separate from the Corrections Department.

Jah Cure was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment on April 26, 1999, for two counts of rape, robbery with aggravation, and illegal possession of firearm, all arising from the same incident. He received this sentence at age 19.

Major Reese said that Alcock's earliest date of release, if he does not breach any regulations, is July 28, 2007. However, if he breaks any rules, he could stay in prison until July 18, 2011.

Disciplinary measures

Though many stories surround the reason for his transfer, the commissioner would not say why Jah Cure had been transferred. He explained that prisoners can be transferred for security reasons, to give them access to rehabilitation, for disciplinary measures, or if they are in conflict with other inmates. "We would prefer not to disclose the specific reason, because it is really internal," Major Reese stated.

However, Jah Cure's voice will continue to be preserved for posterity, as Major Reese said that the singer will have access to recording facilities. Speaking with THE STAR at the opening of a computer laboratory at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre on Monday, Major Reese said that he understood Jah Cure had some recording equipment, and while it was still in Spanish Town it would be brought over to Tower Street shortly.

When it does get there it will not be put in Jah Cure's cell he noted, but will be in an area where he will have access to it. Apart from music, though, Major Reese said, "What we want to get him into is an education programme. Sometimes a person has an interest in a skill and a vocation and that is all they pursue."

Monday's opening of the computer laboratory at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre will also help Jah Cure and other inmates interested in music, as it will form the basis of a digital recording facility. Major Reese noted that, "all the relevant software will be there," and inmates will be "able to produce their own music, " as well as being advised of their intellectual property rights.

The commissioner said that it was possible for persons from outside the prison to send in music for Jah Cure to use, but only at the singer's request. However, do not look for him on stage at a show before he is on parole or released totally.

"People have to understand that we are living in serious times. Persons who commit serious violent offences will not be participating in outside programmes. Whatever we do for one category, it goes for all. We will .

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March 9, 2005
 

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