Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Honourable Pearnel Charles Jnr, says the New Path Programme spearheaded by the Organization of American States, OAS, aids in the sustainable reduction of crime and violence in Jamaica. He made the statement while speaking at the South Camp Juvenile Correctional Centre during the visit of Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, Ambassador Nestor Mendez to Jamaica on March 2, 2018.

The programme, which is a collaborative effort between the OAS and the Department of Correctional Services, DCS, seeks to improve the lives of children who are in conflict with the law. Participants are given a chance to be equipped with critical employment ability and life skills through activities such as, Yoga, Social Skills Development and self-esteem building, dispute resolution and anger management through exposure to music and musical instruments.

Minister Charles says he sees the positive impact the programme has on the girls at the facility. He expressed his desire for a continued partnership between the DCS and the OAS. "What we are doing here is beyond funding, it may seem that we are funding the programme but we are truly investing in our own lives, we are investing in the world," he said. The programme started in 2014 and is now active in all the Juvenile Correctional Centres across the island. So far, it has benefitted over 500 youngsters and their families. Gleaner link: