Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, is encouraging wards at juvenile correctional centres to regard themselves as “winners,” while they go through various stages of rehabilitation.
Speaking to scores of youth at the Rio Cobre Juvenile Correctional Centre in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, today (August 20), at the 2019 staging of the ‘We Transform’ Sports and Fun Day, Mr. Spencer said “effective rehabilitation is continuing in the penal system, and sport is playing a big role.”
“Sports continue to be an integral part of the rehabilitation process, and we place great emphasis on social intervention, and reintegration programmes that will instill positive values in the young offenders,” he told the audience.
The event involved participants from the four juvenile institutions under the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), and saw the wards participating in discus throw, 100-metre, 200-metre, 400-metre, and 800-metre medley relays, as well as Math Race, English Race, Obstacle Race, Staff Race, and other activities.
Mr. Spencer told the gathering that research has indicated that involvement in sport can contribute to conflict management and interpersonal skills.
While commending partners, such as the Organization of American States (OAS), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Famfun Entertainment, for the “successful development” of ‘We Transform,’ the State Minister stressed the need for the wards to always believe in possibilities.
“Always remember that you are winners. Never say that it is impossible to achieve, because the only person who can stand in your way is you,” he said.
Meanwhile, Commissioner of Corrections, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Gary Rowe, urged the participants to compete in a team spirit, and to “build your self-esteem, work and achieve your targets.”