Our Readers' Opinions
August 5, 2016
We need a graduation ceremony for prison’s Adult Education Programme

Editor: Recently the Belle Isle Correctional Facility held a graduation with Inmates who were involved in the Agriculture course. This is, indeed, commendable. This is part of the reformation and rehabilitation of the inmates. Thus the superintendent and staff of the institution must be commended.{{more}}

There are, however, more programmes that are done at the said institution and I do wish and advocate that there be a graduation ceremony also for the Adult Education Programme. For the past three years, inmates have been involved in a CCSLC CXC programme. For the past two years, the pass mark has been an average of 95 per cent. This year’s result is not yet known to this writer. They have been taught English, Maths, Social Studies and Integrated Science. These subjects are those that the inmates have written for CXC, while other subjects, such as Music and Tailoring, are also taught and would be added as a fifth subject to gain a certificate by CXC.

For, those who have successfully completed the above mentioned subjects and have been successful should be given the opportunity to have a graduation.

Having a graduation will lift the self-esteem of the inmates and would also enhance the public relations of the institution. Of concern, however, is the lack of volunteers to have the programme taught at the prison in Kingstown.

Meanwhile, other programmes are done, such as mechanics and body works in Kingstown. Also carpentry and welding are done. Thus, a prisoner is given the opportunity to be equipped when he leaves the institution to be employed, having gained skills. He can then fit into society and make a contribution.

From time to time we would see persons going in and out of the institution. Most of these persons were not involved in the skills at prison. Also they are trained in cooking and baking. Thus, a person is equipped to survive and make a life after prison. However, society many times is not forgiving to these persons and so they struggle to survive outside, since they are rejected and have a bad police record. I am suggesting that those who got involved in these programmes and graduated be given support upon release from prison. I am suggesting that a programme be set up for these persons to get some financial assistance to start their own business and also that they be recommended to be employed by private institutions, so that they can develop their skills and make a contribution, to their family and society.

In the meantime, I wish this institution all the best and may they continue to play their part in the rehabilitation of the inmates. God bless you all.

Kennard King