With the amalgamation of the Prison Services, the Probation Services and the Approved School, it was necessary to set up a training institution to meet the human resource development requirements for the Department of Correctional Services.
The late Honourable Mr. Justice Carl Rattray, OJ, QC – then Minister of Justice – proposed the purchase of the Golf Beach Hotel property in Runaway Bay, St. Ann in 1978 and the vision for a world-class training school began. The property was acquired and fittingly renamed the Carl Rattray Staff College for Human Resource Development in his honour.
During the passage of Hurricane Gilbert in 1988, the college suffered excessive damage, but was restored one year later and resumed its core function of facilitating training.
The Carl Rattray College has become the oasis for the Department of Correctional Services. The college compound, which is nestled in the foothills of Cardiff Hall, has provided the therapeutic escape for officers within the adult and juveniles institutions, Probation Officer After Care officers, as well as other civilian staff whose job functions can negatively impact the physical and mental aspects of their health.
In 2008, the British Government – through the Jamaica Reducing Re-Offending Action Plan (JRRAP) – granted funds of about $10 million for the repair and retrofitting of the lecture theatre. The funds from this project provided a new-look lecture theatre, with modern equipment which has helped to enrich the teaching learning process.
The college has evolved from merely providing training for new entrant persons, for the Department, to facilitating continuous training programmes designed to improve and enhance the skill set of all members of the service.
The college has not been selfish in its offering of courses. Other departments have benefited from the training programmes offered at the college, as well as from the use of the residential and lecture hall facilities. The 70-room dormitories have facilitated residential training for the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Western Regional Health Authority, other Government and Non-Government groups, as well as community organizations.
The 2015-2018 Strategic Plan for the Carl Rattray Staff College has underscored the repositioning of the college by offering courses to be accredited by HEART/NCTVET and the University Council of Jamaica. The college has already upgraded the programmes offered to both new Correctional Officers and middle managers to embrace best practices of national and international standards, so as to ensure world class service delivery.
The vision for the college is to partner with the community by providing continuing education in areas that will enhance both personal and community development. The college is, therefore, poised to achieve this and to carry out its role in working toward Vision 2030.