Prisoners in Jamaica to Get Conjugal Visits But Officials Getting Tougher on Jailhouse Crime

Minister of National Security Robert Montague


KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wednesday July 26, 2017 – Inmates at Jamaica’s jails may soon be allowed conjugal visits.

Minister of National Security Robert Montague did not say when that would begin, but said yesterday it would happen under his watch.

“I am determined and insistent that we are going to start conjugal visits and some persons ask me why, but we must treat with (incarcerated persons) in a humane way. A lot of us (say) that we are Christians but true Christianity is when you do for the least amongst us, so we are working on that,” he said.

A conjugal visit is a scheduled period in which an inmate is permitted to have private with a visitor, usually a legal spouse.

Montague announced the plan to go that route during a presentation at the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference on Monday.

He also disclosed that cell phone jammers and security cameras have been reinstalled in the island’s prisons in a bid to reduce criminal activities by inmates.

Additionally, he said, the Ministry is working on the regulatory framework for the deportation policy.

“We are strengthening our emergency safety net by effectively reintegrating deportees in our society. We are strengthening the capacity of the local authorities to mainstream migration planning and service provisions,” Montague said.

On the matter of rehabilitation, he said the government is continuing to put measures in place to reform prisoners and reduce repeat offending, which is currently at 47 per cent.

Montague also said that inmates have been reclassified to separate hardened criminals from low-level offenders.

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