Prisoners getting good grades at university

May 06, 2021
Staff Officer Peter Jarrett monitors the four inmates currently enrolled at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean as they participate in an online class from the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre’s Computer Lab.
Staff Officer Peter Jarrett monitors the four inmates currently enrolled at the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean as they participate in an online class from the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre’s Computer Lab.

Four inmates and one correctional officer from the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre who received scholarships to attend the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) are said to be doing extremely well in their programmes.

The five persons, who are writing for associate of science degrees in business administration, have been maintaining high grade point averages. They started the course at the UCC in January 2 and have all maintained an average above 3.5 with the highest being 3.81.

"The programme has helped me to look beyond my present situation, as I am able to apply myself and use my time here wisely, so that I will positively contribute to society when I return home," said one of the inmates. Another inmate said that he was grateful to have received the opportunity to read for the associate degree.

"I am taking pride in my grades, so it forces me to put my best foot forward despite the obstacles, and I have seen the growth. I hope other inmates get a chance to participate in the programme as well."

The associate degree programme forms part of a memorandum of understanding signed among the Ministry of National Security through the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), Stand Up for Jamaica and the UCC. It provides full-tuition scholarships, each valued at $600,000 to the beneficiaries. The pilot project commenced in January and will end in December 2021.

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