The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) is aware of a newspaper report dated Sunday, March 13, 2022 regarding the annual cost to feed inmates at correctional institutions. The report contains several erroneous details regarding the operations of the Department.
The expenditure on diet for inmates and wards was increased from $513,442,003 in the 2018/2019 fiscal year (approximately $380 per day) to $575,558,406, approximately $430 per day in the 2020/2021 fiscal year. This increase was provided, given GoJ recognition of the need to provide healthier daily meals for inmates.
The provision of healthier options has been complemented through the continued efforts of the agricultural programmes, that are two-fold – a form of rehabilitation for inmates and an avenue for self-sufficiency as it relates to poultry and vegetables.
Due to these continued efforts, the DCS has not been required to purchase poultry since December 2020. Chicken meat production at the Tamarind Farm Adult Correctional Centre has led to savings of approximately $20 million. Additionally, it should be noted that eggs required to feed all inmates/wards are produced through the combined agricultural programmes instituted at Richmond, New Broughton and Tower Street Adult Correctional Centres and at Metcalfe Street Secure Juvenile Remand Centre.
The menu takes into account considerations of dietary restrictions and/or special considerations required for the continued duty of care for inmates and wards. Once an inmate/ward has been identified to have special needs, a diet plan is sent to the Superintendent and kitchen at the institution as well as the Procurement Unit.
With the slow return to normalcy, consequent to reduction in COVID 19 cases, farming has resumed which has yielded approximately 2,530 lbs of Callaloo and 200 lbs of pumpkin. Other produce such as Corn, Breadfruit, Coconut and Sweet Potato are produced in small quantities.
The Department, as it continues its transformation remains committed to providing for self-sufficiency where feasible, to ensure that the duty of care for inmates and wards are met. This is further bolstered by efficient use of the financial resources to serve the needs of the inmate population and staff complement.