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December 18, 2013
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Gov't signs agreement to strengthen monitoring of deportees

Carl Williams, deputy commissioner of police. - Norman Grindley

The Government of Jamaica's (GoJ) efforts to improve the monitoring and management of criminal deportees have been strengthened, under a $48 million agreement with the United Kingdom (UK) government.

Permanent secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Major General Stewart Saunders and British High Commissioner,David Fitton, on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for an 18-month project, aimed at boosting the capacity of the Deportee Monitoring Unit.

The signing ceremony was held at the ministry in Kingston.

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, cellphones 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 important to protect the citizenry against deportees, who are likely to continue to cause harm within the society," said Major General Saunders.

life skills

He said there is a component of the programme to provide the deportees with life skills and other learning opportunities to ensure they are properly reintegrated into society. "We are seeking to ensure they are gainfully employed within the society, having been properly adjusted," he stated.

High Commissioner Fitton said the UK government has been working with GoJ 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 with responsibility for crime, Carl Williams, said there are quite a number of people deported to Jamaica, who are law abiding. however, there are those who are "dangerous offenders".

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