The breakdown of the family structure and its relation to crime will be one of the priority areas for newly appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn.
Minister Cuthbert-Flynn said that she will have responsibility for the Department of Correctional Services and the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force.
She noted that her previous appointment as State Minister in the Health and Wellness Ministry has prepared her for this new role.
“It has prepared me quite excellently, because I worked on a few programmes with mothers, looking at families, and it’s the same when you’re looking at the corrections. If you’re looking at what’s happening with our youth, as I’ve been doing here (Ministry of National Security), we saw where the recidivism rate in Jamaica is 40 per cent,” Minister Cuthbert-Flynn said.
She explained that she wants to drill down further on programmes within the Ministry that promote strong families.
“We have to look at the family ties if we want to curb crime and to make sure that we keep [people] out of the correctional services,” the State Minister said.
“We talked about building stronger family ties at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and it’s no different here. I believe that we must build stronger family ties, which will give you stronger communities and will have better outcomes for our children, so we won’t have people reoffending or even to start offending in Jamaica,” she added.
The State Minister said that she continues to build on the work done by her predecessor, State Minister, Zavia Mayne.
“There was also a technical working group, Correctional Service, setup. I need to look at the issues and what were some of the recommendations and then to choose, from there, some of the low-hanging fruits that we can really get some things moving,” Cuthbert-Flynn said.
She was appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security on May 22, 2023.
Prior to this, she served as Minister of State in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, with primary responsibility for maternal health, HIV prevention and the reduction of drug abuse.