JFJ Calls for NGO Representation on Ministry of National Security’s Boards of Visitors
Monday, March 18, 2013, Kingston, Jamaica – Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) is calling on the Ministry of National Security to ensure an open and transparent appointment process when forming its proposed Boards of Visitors (BOVs) for Juvenile Correctional and Remand Centres. The BOV is an independent body of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), consisting of persons who are interested in the welfare of wards. JFJ became aware that the Ministry had sent to some organisations a request to nominate persons to serve on these BOVs. The request from the Ministry detailed that those nominated would be asked to “to assist in the monitoring of the operations of the Juvenile Correctional and Remand Centres.”.
JFJ has submitted nominations of interested members from the NGO community and members of the Lift Up Not Lock Up campaign, who have worked in this area for many years. These persons and their respective organisations have dealt with these issues through successive administrations and have contributed to numerous advancements related to children’s welfare on the island through individual initiatives, cooperation with ministerial organs and attendance at international conventions. In combination, they have over 40 years of experience working in children’s rights, and are well versed in issues relating Jamaica’s juvenile correctional and remand centres.
We are also encouraging other interested individuals and civic organisations to submit their own nominations to the Ministry, particularly former wards of the State, who are in a position to offer invaluable insight and perspective on the work to be carried out by these boards. We believe that making an effort to promote the formation of inclusive and diverse groups will foster maximally effective assessment units, and encourage the Ministry to consider this a principal priority during the selection process.