The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) through the Ministry of National Security yesterday received a donation of one million Jamaican dollars (JMD 1,000,000) from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Jamaica for COVID-19 preparations in juvenile institutions.
The donation will be used to purchase nebulizers for asthmatic children, personal protective equipment including: eye protection, gowns, gloves and mask for correctional officers, thermometers, medical disposable bins, chemicals for sanitation and tablets to facilitate online counselling and classes.
Mariko Kagoshima, representative of UNICEF Jamaica said, “UNICEF is very pleased to support the DCS with the provision of these essential supplies. This is critical for the protection of children who are among the most vulnerable, and for the officers who have been taking care of them since the onset of COVID-19. We hope to continue supporting the efforts of the DCS as they serve these children.”
Commissioner of Corrections Lt. Col. (Retired) Gary Rowe said the Department welcomes the continued support from UNICEF Jamaica. “UNICEF Jamaica has been a long-standing supporter of the Department and we are indeed grateful for the support given to our children and officers. It is commendable that even in these challenging times, they continue to assist with COVID-19 preparations in our correctional centres.
UNICEF Jamaica has supported the DCS on a number of initiatives over the years. One of the most notable UNICEF-supported programmes is a life skills programme implemented by the non-governmental organization Children First in 2014. The programme was designed to equip the children in two juvenile institutions with life skills, barbering skills and to improve their chances of a successful transition post-release.