“Be honest, hold yourselves accountable, be transparent, be agents of change” is the
charge by Courtney Williams, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, to the
107 new Correctional Officers who graduated from the Carl Rattray Staff College in St. Ann
today (January 28).
The Permanent Secretary was speaking at the Passing Out Parade of the 80th intake of
Correctional Officers for the Department of Correctional Services where 107 participants
consisting of 10 females and 97 males graduated.
“You have successfully surpassed the obstacles of this highly physical training, which
forms part of our efforts to build capacity among our security forces”, the Permanent
“This profession you have chosen”, he continued, “is honourable and must be executed
with alacrity, respect, honesty and dignity. These traits must be exuded in your
interactions with everyone you meet, in both your personal and professional life as a
correctional officer”, the Permanent Secretary concluded.
In acknowledging the work the DCS has been doing to stem recidivism, he also pointed out
that the Corrections (Amendment) Act, which was passed in December 2021, will aid to
improve the operations of the Department, by creating a modern legal framework under which
it will operate.
“It [the legislation] will update and strengthen existing operations and allow the
implementation of modern technological advances”, he said. The amendments include the
introduction of provisions, which prohibit access, use etc of electronic communication devices
and computers by inmates, coupled with an increase in the fines and custodial sentences for
breaching these provisions. The introduction of a regime for the confiscation, destruction and
disposal of prohibited articles will be introduced soon, Mr. Williams said.
“The Ministry is working tirelessly to combat crime and violence through the
implementation of new polices, legislation and mechanisms that are aimed at ridding the
country of unwanted sources of violent behaviour in our society”, Mr. Williams explained.
He further pointed out that the DCS is in the final stages of procuring a state-of-the-art
surveillance system that will allow full video coverage of its institutions.
“These technological equipment, will certainly enhance the work of the Department as it
journeys to become the Caribbean’s centre of excellence in correctional management”,
In his charge to the cohort, the Permanent Secretary emphasised the importance of their role in
the rehabilitation process for wards and inmates.
“You will be tasked with helping to reform the lives of these individuals by helping with
the process of reintegrating them into society as refined citizens” he added.
The Department of Correctional Services is a department of the Ministry of National Security
and is responsible for securing inmates and wards of the state and facilitating their
rehabilitation and reintegration in society as law-abiding citizens.