THE EDITOR: The continuing stories of attacks on staff and running away from St Jude’s correctional facility clearly show that government intervention is urgently needed. The concept of the school must be brought into 2020.
The Roman Catholic church should be thanked for their years of dedication. However, the nuns appear unequal to the task of controlling and teaching modern day youth. Prevailing conditions appear unfair and unproductive to both clients staff.
Very few of the remanded girls will be interested in becoming nuns. The lack of respect shown is understandable to a certain degree. There is also the problem of staff who are under qualified, under paid and and totally unsuited to maintaining control. Disrespect brews confrontations that can become violent.
It is important to continue with school lessons but there should be a modern approach to teaching these girls how to survive when returned to the real world.
Training in all branches of fashion and design, hospitality and nursing care should automatically be available for study. Steelpan training could be introduced in the curriculum. Those who are well behaved should be allowed time out at week ends with a curfew of say 10 pm. This promise of freedom for a few hours would encourage improved general behaviour and less girls are likely to run away.
St Jude’s should be closed and the Ministry of Child and Gender Affairs should take over in a new purpose built facility.