Wednesday, September 12, 2012, Kingston, Jamaica – Help JA Children and Jamaicans For Justice note the announcement by the Minister of Youth and Culture, Lisa Hanna, of the formation of an inter-ministerial and inter-agency working group which is tasked with addressing the issues of children in police lockups, remand centres and correctional facilities, in addition to reviewing the 2010 “Report of the Task Force on the New Regime for Juveniles in Remand and Correctional Facilities in Jamaica.”
We note that the Minister has indicated that this working group will be preparing a submission to the Cabinet with recommendations for actions regarding the situation of children in police lockups, remand centres and correctional facilities for boys and girls.
JFJ and Help JA Children are calling on the Minister to include in this working group, members of civil society and the NGO community who have worked on this issue for many years. These persons and organizations have dealt with these issues through successive administrations and have contributed to numerous advancements including the Child Care and Protection and the 2010 Task Force Report that is now being reviewed.
We believe that this is best practice for consultative governance and that the inclusion of the non-governmental perspective will strengthen the recommendation to Cabinet.