HMP And Department Of Gender Affairs Embark On Initiative To Ensure Inmates Reintegrate Smoothly Into Society
Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 12, 2020 (SKNIS): Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) in St. Kitts and Nevis and the Department of Gender Affairs have embarked on an initiative aimed at ensuring that once an inmate is discharged from prison he or she can smoothly reintegrate into society.
During Wednesday’s November 11 edition of ‘Working for You’, Terrence James, Commissioner of Corrections at HMP, said that he has been in communication with Mrs. Celia Christopher, Director of the Department of Gender Affairs, to discuss the way forward.
“Part of our plans/strategy going forward [is that] we are hoping to collaborate so that we will have a proper structure in place so that when persons are nearing their discharge time that we can start to prepare them for reintegration into society,” said Commissioner James. “In working with Mrs. Christopher, she wanted to start programmes that would teach inmates how to be entrepreneurs so that when they would have left the prison, they can start their own little business.”
Commissioner James said the rehabilitation programmes at HMP are very important as they were implemented to assist inmates in developing skills.
“That is why we are trying to have our rehabilitation programmes and teach them a skill so that when they would have left, they are able to seek employment on their own or start up their own business. This is the direction in which we tend to go in terms of our rehabilitation programmes,” said Mr. James.
Eustace Warner of Warner’s One Stop in St. Kitts has also committed to assisting ex-inmates.
“Mr. Warner came forward and is willing to partner with Her Majesty’s Prison so that when persons are nearing their discharged date, we can make contact with him. He has indicated that he will make provisions or attempt to have a job lined up for one or two individuals,” said the Commissioner of Corrections at HMP.
Commissioner James hailed the initiative as a generous move noting that oftentimes, ex-inmates, especially females, have a difficult task of finding employment. He added that once an employer would have received word that an individual would have been incarcerated the “tone of the music changes.”