STAFF AT HMP COMMITTED TO REHABILITATING INMATES, SAY OFFICIALS

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MR. TERRANCE JAMES, COMMISSIONER OF CORRECTIONS AT HER MAJESTY'S PRISON and MS. VIRGIL HODGE, PRINCIPAL OFFICER AT HER MAJESTY'S PRISON

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“Our job as members of the staff of the prison is to train that individuals when he/she would have come into the prison so that he/she would be going out as a different individual,” said Mr. James, noting that there is a high record in St. Kitts and Nevis where the same set of persons is repeatedly prosecuted, which is termed recidivism. “We have taken it up that the rehabilitation programme in the prison must take root so that when inmates come into the prison that they go out, and when discharged, they are discharged as a different individual.”

Several programmes were implemented at HMP to rehabilitate inmates. These include classes at the secondary and tertiary level; vehicle mechanics; welding; building construction; tailoring; agriculture; art and craft; mentoring; counselling; conflict resolution; religious instruction; welfare assistance and substance abuse disorder, as well as behavioural therapy. There is also the popular RGI Prison Band.

“The one that tops all these is the educational programme, which we have been having for almost four years now where the prisoners themselves have the opportunity to teach civilians. We have that programme that is taking place at the Maurice Hillier Memorial School where the prisoners go out and teach most of the subject areas to civilians,” said Principal Officer at HMP, Virgil Hodge.

Commissioner James said that it is important for the general public to know and understand that positive things happen at the prison. “It is not all bad and negative. There are some positive things coming out of the prison because of our rehabilitation programme,” he added.

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