A new school building, valued at approximately $3.19 million (US$25,000), is being built at the Tamarind Farm Adult Correctional Centre in St Catherine by Food For The Poor (FFP).
The facility, which will be used to deliver the Department of Correctional Services educational and vocational programme for inmates, will comprise three classrooms, an office and sanitation facilities.
Additionally, it will be outfitted with desks and chairs for instructors and students by Food For The Poor, which will also renovate the institution’s computer room as part of the 10-week project.
The initiative, which is being done under the charity organisation’s prison ministry programme, will benefit over 200 inmates.
Ground was broken to commence construction on Tuesday.
Pearnel Charles Jr, state minister in the Ministry of National Security said the project demonstrates the type of partnership needed to spur prosperity in Jamaica by addressing the factors causing crime and violence and instituting alternatives.
“We want to prevent crime on both ends … and to do so requires us to have the understanding that education is the foundation of any man or woman being able to claim their independence, whether it is economic or personal, or freedom from criminal activities,” he said.
David Mair, FFP executive director said Food For The Poor believes in and values education, and that an investment in education is integral to breaking the cycle of poverty.
Mair said the organisation built 37 early-childhood institutions islandwide between 2015 and 2016, noting that “our reason for doing this is to empower our children to become the best version of themselves”.