February 17, 2021 | Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie |
Dismissed Without Severance Pay.
There has been a story in the daily newspaper regarding a female Private who has claimed that she was treated shabbily in the JDF.
Suffered From Depression
Shanique Gardener said:
I was diagnosed with depression in
November 2017. I always wanted to be a part of the Law. I think JDF is more disciplined than the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). The training was good for me. During my training I fell and hit my back. In 2018 I gave birth to my son. After being discharged from hospital I was invited to see the force psychologist. I was referred to an external psychologist at the University College Hospital (UCH) Ward 21. I fainted and was taken to our medical ward. I got pregnant in 2019 and my health further deteriorated. After birth of my child I wrote a letter to the CDS. I had a letter sent the acting CDS. I got charged in 2019. In September, I was charged for by passing chain of command. I got a further three weeks. She was subsequently thrown in jail for 7 days. Three month after given birth I was put in prison. I was the only female there. I was feeling more depression. I got medication and sent to Bellevue (mental institution) where I spent 7 days. I then returned to work on light duties. The third time I was sent to UCH. On the 8th September. I had 18 months left on my contract. I got a letter from the JDF. They owe me monies. I have nightmares and they have not been reaching out to me. She was sent to jail and Bellevue Mental Hospital.”
The Ex -JDF female who claim she was mistreated by the JDF.
I was supposed to be paid off for my contract. She spoke to Miss Kitty and Cliff Hughes listening.
Colonel Rohan Johnson and Capt. Coleen Weis
Captain Weis confined that she is aware of the allegations.
What is the JDF’S side?
CJ: There are some inaccuracies in her video in circulation. We have worked with her from day one. We work with all our service members. We have a mental health policy. We even send members outside for treatment.
Miss Kitty: Was putting a member in jail for breaking the chain of command?
Capt Weiss: She got in excess of 90 days. She got up to 5 months. At every stage of her postmortem state.
Miss Kitty: Was that an appropriate time to send a lactating mother to prison?
Capt Weiss: “There is no perfect time to send someone to prison. The military system is similar. She was not sent to prison because of breaking the chain of command. She made a false statement, knowing same was false. The military has its own method of justice. She was given the charge sheet before and given an opportunity to be represented. She was given due process.”
Miss Kitty: What type of discharge was she given?
Capt Weiss: There are different ways to leave the army
She was discharged medically. We have been in constant dialogue with her legal team. Basic emoluments were done. She served in different units. We will call you back after the news.
Capt Weis: A cheque has been prepared for female Private Johnson.
She was accused if making a statement that she knew was false.
She was given a copy of charge sheet. She could had called witnesses.
Miss Kitty:. To have separated a newly delivered mother.
Capt Weiss: Due care was taken to allow her to express her milk.
Miss Kitty: She had a Caesarian Section.
Private Johnson was treated well. She admitted to this in her video. Sanitation was attended to. As far as she was concerned.
Miss Kitty: There was a perception that women are treated poorly in the JDF?
There is a Gender Affairs Officer .. if a member feels that they are being badly treated there are avenues for redress.
Col Rohan Johnson: Each Gender has equalization policy. There is no merit in her complaint.
Col Rohan Johnson: We stand by our actions. I will stand by the procedures. There is a newly established Veteran Affairs Unit to which she can utilize as an ex member of the JDF.
Thank you for the opportunity to give our side. Declared their (army) representatives.
The army appeared to have acquitted itself well on this occasion. There seems to be some real issues in the Army. The army has been in the news lately for the wrong reasons.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie monitored this interview. He is a veteran journalist with an international exposure. He is keen to investigate alleged injustice.