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A Prison Community Radio to Aid Rehabilitation
A prison radio is developed to enhance prisoner rehabilitation and education in the Carribbean.


A Prison Community Radio to Aid Rehabilitation

22-06-2007 (Kingston)
A Prison Community Radio to Aid Rehabilitation
A prison radio is developed to enhance prisoner rehabilitation and education in the Carribbean.
The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in collaboration with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) are unveiling a prison community radio today at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre.

This innovative use of a Community Multimedia Centre is the first of its kind in the Caribbean. It seeks to enhance prisoner rehabilitation and education while connecting prisoners with their external environment, where discourse can occur between inmates, their families, the church and other rehabilitative elements of civil society. The DCS sees this prison community radio project as a great opportunity for advancing its recently developed Life Skills Programme which purposes to empower prisoners for a smooth re-entry into society as peaceful law-abiding citizens.

As an integral part of the project, UNESCO has also commissioned the Ethnographic Action Research to document the use of these technologies as tools for prisoner rehabilitation and education and how the CMC will impact relationships between the various stakeholders of the prisons. Findings will be disseminated through the publication of a booklet that includes needs and guidelines for implementing special access to information and communication technologies in prison communities.

According to Mr Alton Grizzle, the UNESCO Officer responsible for the project, “the development of a prison radio is a bold step by the Department of Correctional Services and as such UNESCO commends them”.

The production and broadcasting of programmes will be done primarily by inmates and correctional officers who are at present being trained by external and internal stakeholders including personnel from ROOTS FM Radio. Both inmates and correctional officers will be exposed to the technical areas of production and broadcast for radio and the Internet. These include developing and writing radio content, digital editing, script preparation and interviewing techniques. Inmates will get the opportunity to voice their concerns and produce positive messages to be distributed within a controlled environment.

Partnerships with other media houses and the Caribbean Internet Radio Portal will facilitate the broadcast of content produced by inmates and staff to the general public.

The project is being piloted for one year at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Facility which houses adult male inmates. Additional support from the UNESCO International Programme for the Development of Communication will enable the expansion of the pilot to other institutions such the Fort Augusta Adult Correctional Centre (Females), Rio Cobre Juvenile Correction Facility and South Camp Correctional Centres. The ultimate aim is to link all correctional facilities via radio and broadband Internet connections so that radio programming can be generated from each of the institutions and distributed through out the system.

The DCS is an arm of the Ministry of National Security.

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  • This item can be found in the following topics:
          · Latin America/Caribbean
          · Community Multimedia Centres
          · Canada
          · Jamaica
          · Community Media
          · News Archives: 2007

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