UCC to provide Scholarships for Incarcerated Persons
Kingston, January 6, 2020 –The University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC), the Ministry of National Security through the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and Stand Up for Jamaica, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide full tuition scholarships valued at J$1.5Million per year to four qualified inmates and one correctional officer from the St. Catherine Adult Correctional Centre.
Under the MOU, which is expected to span approximately two years, UCC will cover tuition, application and miscellaneous fees, while the Department of Correctional Services and Stand Up for Jamaica will provide an equipped lab, books, materials, tutorial and other student support services for the participants in pursuit of an online Associate of Science Degree in Business Administration.
Speaking at the Signing Ceremony held at the University’s Main Campus in Kingston on Monday, Professor Bernadette Warner, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs said, “This MOU owes a great deal to the creative vision of all three Parties, who share a commitment to make a difference to the problem of recidivism among offenders who have served their sentences, and to Jamaica’s socioeconomic development, by means of expanding the reach of higher education into our nation’s correctional facilities.”
Professor Warner added that classes, for the pilot project, will begin on Sunday, January 12 and is expected to expand to include more eligible inmates and other correctional facilities in due course.
Meanwhile, the Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, the Honourable Rudyard Spencer congratulated the participants and lauded the initiative as a substantial addition to the rehabilitation programme.
“I wish to congratulate those who were identified to participate in such a life-changing opportunity. We’ve heard the cry of ex-offenders who face difficulties qualifying for employment opportunities because of education limitations. Therefore, we are increasing the marketability of inmates and officers by providing sustainable scholarships and grants, through worthwhile partnerships,” said Minister Spencer.
For his part, Andre Schwab, Director at Stand Up for Jamaica welcomed the partnership and pledged continued support to working with UCC and the DCS in executing a successful project.