The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) has completed a pilot project to have inmates from the Horizon Adult Remand Centre appear virtually for mention dates in court cases.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda, said this initiative is part of the Government of Jamaica’s drive to improve the efficiency of court proceedings through increased investment in technology.
“We had to move very quickly to get that going even though the project was on the books before, but we had to move a little faster with it because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) issues (where) every time somebody left, they had to be going into quarantine. So the need for the reduction of movement was very important to how we have managed the disease thus far,” he said while speaking in the Senate on Friday (January 15).
Mr. Samuda noted that the Ministry of National Security will now be building out the programme across all correctional facilities and major police stations.
“When that comes it will improve efficiency significantly for the courts as well as the security forces who have to manage the movement of prisoners,” he stated.
Over seven hundred and twenty inmates from across the Department have participated in the programme since it’s inception. The institutions that currently host virtual court hearings are: Horizon Adult Remand Centre, Metcalfe Street Secure Juvenile Centre, South Camp Juvenile Correctional and Remand Centre and the Tower Street, South Camp and St. Catherine Adult Correctional Centres.