Recently-appointed Commissioner of Corrections, Terrance James, said building the capacity of his staff and the rehabilitation of residents at Her Majesty’s Prison topped his list priorities during a recent edition of  the “Policing With You” programme.

“I’m sure a lot of people didn’t know that Prison Officers travel as far as Colorado to do training and Virginia in the United States. Just recently we had some officers going off to Barbados at Dodds Correctional Facility…This is a new prison Barbados built and so we are sending Prison Officers there to see how a much larger prison operates,” Commissioner James said, exlaining training for the Officers at Her Majesty’s Prison is a continual process he intends to give additional attention.

He added that he, too, would be traveling to Barbados shortly to gain some experience on how to manage such a large institution.

Additionally, James highlighted the prison academic programme, which he expects to further advance. This year, residents at the prisons sat the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Examinations in January and obtained eight passes out of 13 entries. Similarly, there were 19 entries for the June Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) of which there were 13 passes.

The Commissioner announced that starting in September, residents would be allowed to take classes in three disciplines at the Advanced Vocational Education Center (AVEC): automotive repair, welding and general construction.

“I have already touched base with the Director of AVEC and he has assured us that come September, with the opening of the new school term, he has offered us three disciplines…so we are already trying to get the inmates interested in these disciplines areas to start the classes come September,” he said.

He also listed the revision of legislation governing the prison system, restructuring the ranks, promotions and revisiting the staff appraisal system as other areas of focus.