Thursday, September 12, 2013, Kingston, Jamaica – Jamaicans For Justice (JFJ) is concerned by what it is hearing about the situation of the girls who have been moved from Fort Augusta Prison and Diamond Crest Juvenile Correctional facility.  JFJ has recently been informed that the South Camp Facility in which they were placed is still under construction and in fact a long way from being completed.  We have been told that even basic facilities such as classrooms to allow them to receive the educational instruction to which they are entitled are not ready.  As a result we believe the girls in South Camp are not receiving adequate educational or vocational instruction.  This is stark contrast to what the girls who were at Diamond Crest were getting and the facilities to which they had access, some constructed and furnished at great cost.

We have also been told that comprehensive assessments and reviews have not been conducted on all the girls housed at South Camp and so they are not getting the psychological, educational and emotional support that they need.  In addition we have been informed that girls on remand, girls convicted of crimes and sentenced, girls on correctional orders for being ‘uncontrollable’ and girls who are in need of care and protection are all housed together and there is no separation of the different categories as required by local and international law.

JFJ is also aware that NO board of visitors has been appointed for the new South Camp Facility and no Non Governmental Organizations have been allowed to tour the facility in the last three months.

JFJ is asking the Department of Corrections and the Minister of Security to explain.

  • If incarcerated girls were moved into an UNFINISHED facility at South Camp and if so, why
  • Why were girls taken from Diamond Crest and moved into South Camp
  • If the girls at South Camp are receiving any educational and vocational instruction and if not, why not.  If they are getting instruction what is the nature of that instruction and for how many hours a day
  • What is the timetable to do comprehensive assessments of all the girls
  • What are the plans, and timetables, for separating the different categories of incarcerated children
  • Why has Diamond Crest been abandoned when it has so much available in the way of training and vocational fixtures.

The moving of the girls into an unfinished prison is only contributing to further damaging those of our children who need the most help and support.