The Wards of the Metcalfe Street Secure Juvenile Centre received an early Christmas gift when the Ministry of National Security and the Department of Correctional Services(DCS) in collaboration with Jeffery ‘Agent Sasco’ Campbell and the Digicel Foundation officially opened the Metcalfe Street Black Diamond Recording Studio at the institution Thursday, December 15.
Agent Sasco, a Ministry of National Security, ‘We Transform’ mentor and ambassador, implemented the vocational project at the centre as part of his ongoing support to augment the rehabilitation and reintegration programmes. The initiative was funded in full by Mr. Campbell with the support of the Digicel Foundation.
In emphasising the importance of rehabilitation programmes and the power of music which brings people together from different walks of life, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security the Honourable Dr. Horace Chang said “using music to unearth the talent in our young men should be a fundamental plan of Jamaica’s educational system.” He said music can be one of the greatest factors in transforming the behaviour of young people in our country.
Meanwhile, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security who has responsibility for the DCS said “it is now up to us to ensure that the gifts that we have been given from Agent Sasco and Digicel are not wasted but are used in a manner that truly transforms the lives of those who are in the institutions.” He added that the time for the wards in the remand centres is unknown, therefore, the rehabilitation programmes must be short to trigger interest and get the desired results.
The music studio was first constructed through a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). However, through the project led by Agent Sasco, upgrades were done including the installation of recording studio equipment such as computers, monitors, a control keyboard, audio interface and studio microphones. The wall of the studio was refurbished and ceiling fans and air conditioning units installed.
The project was implemented to provide the wards with practical hands-on vocational training in music. This is intended to help them to either create their own employment through entrepreneurial endeavours or gain employment within existing entities in the field when they are released.