Press Releases 2013
U.S. Supports Panama’s Efforts to Reform Juvenile Prisons
January 30, 2013
United States Ambassador Jonathan Farrar visited the Pacora Juvenile Correction Center with Minister of Government Jorge Ricardo Fábrega. Ambassador Farrar and Minister Fábrega toured the facility, observed the inmates’ vocational training workshops, and discussed how the juvenile rehabilitation strategy at Pacora can serve as a model for the country’s corrections system.
The Pacora facility is part of a joint U.S.-Panamanian Ministry of Government pilot program, which the United States Government supports through a $3.5 million grant to NGO Fundación Jesús Luz de Oportunidades (FJLO). This innovative 3-year program integrates faith-based, educational, and vocational training elements into individualized rehabilitation plans for the inmates.
Ambassador Jonathan Farrar said “This program’s focus on rehabilitation instead of punitive incarceration helps transform prisons from crime incubators into institutions that offer second chances, which will contribute toward improving social reintegration of youth offenders and reducing recidivism.”
The Ambassador was also present for the signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Government and FJLO formalizing their commitment to work together on this project.
These efforts form part of our Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), through which we provide Panama with support in the fields of counter-narcotics, anti-terrorism, public safety, reduction of gang crime, law enforcement, and the strengthening of institutions and the rule of law.