Minister Hanna leads team on visit of Juvenile Centres

Date Published: 
Saturday, January 12, 2013

Minister Hanna leads team on visit of Fort Augusta and Horizon Juvenile Centres as part of effort to increase medical therapy for children

Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna will on Sunday, January 13, 2013 lead a team of psychiatrists and child care professionals to visit children in the juvenile sections of the Fort Augusta Correctional Centre and the Horizon Remand Centre in Kingston. The team will include the president of the Medical Association of Jamaica and noted psychiatrist, Dr. Aggrey Irons; psychiatrist Dr. Myo Kyaw Oo; chief executive officer of the Child Development Agency (CDA), Mrs. Carla Francis Edie; social work staff of the CDA; acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Culture, Mr. Sydney Bartley; and Commissioner of Corrections Lt. Col. Sean Prendergast.

The visit is in keeping with efforts by Minister Hanna and the youth and culture ministry to encourage increased medical and therapeutic intervention for children in the care of the State including those in children’s homes and places of safety under the jurisdiction of the youth ministry and the CDA; as well as children in juvenile correctional and remand centres under the care and authority The visit also forms part of ongoing visits by the Minister to children’s homes, places of safety and juvenile correctional centres. Recently she visited the Homestead Place of Safety in St. Andrew and the Rio Cobre Juvenile Correctional Centre in St. Catherine.

Speaking on children’s issues at a press conference on December 18 last year, the youth minister pointed out that child abuse, neglect and abandonment have contributed to significant mental, psychological, and emotional trauma affecting children and that the situation is often worsened where children are institutionalised whether for care and protection, uncontrollable behaviour, or for committing offenses. Medical experts have also reported that a significant percentage of children and adolescents in Jamaica with disorders may go undiagnosed and untreated.

 

The Ministry of Youth and Culture is being assisted by an advisory team of psychiatrists in its advocacy for resources to improve the availability of medical therapy for children including those in various institutions. The Ministry has also announced that the Policy on Children is being reviewed and updated to reflect new and emerging realities in child care and development.