JAMAICA-SECURITY- Investigation launched into fire at correctional facility

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jun. 8, CMC – The Jamaica fire bridge says an investigation is now underway following a fire that destroyed a section of the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre .
The police report that the fire started in a section of the facility that houses 18 inmates , categorized as mentally challenged – the inmates were not injured.
Tower Street Chairman of the Jamaica Federation of Corrections, Arlington Turner says two correctional officers were injured during their efforts to get the fire under control before the fire brigade arrived.
The Ministry of National Security in a release said their injuries are not considered life threatening adding that one of the officers suffered mild smoke inhalation as a result of the fire.
According to Turner, the inmates in affected area have since been relocated to another section of the facility.
The Tower Street Adult Correction Centre houses approximately 1,500 prisoners, including several high-profile inmates such as popular dancehall entertainer Vybz Kartel.
In the aftermath of the fire, junior minister in the Ministry of National Security Pearnel Charles jr. said several correctional facilities are in need of urgent infrastructural development including the Tower Street facility.
”The fire certainly brings up a lot of issues that we have to address, but in the meantime, the authorities here are making arrangements for the housing of the affected inmates,” he told the Jamaica Gleaner.
According to Charles, an interministerial committee has been established to look at alternative housing for inmates with mental health and other issues, adding that recommendations are forthcoming to deal with the situation.

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