The Barbados-based Regional Security System (RSS) has donated a quantity of equipment to the Richmond Hill prison to help with its Rehabilitative efforts among inmates.
The list includes a personal computer, sewing machine and wood work tools.
The donation was made possible through the European Union 10th EDF Project which contributes to capacity-building and institutional response to illicit drug trafficking, by strengthening capacities of law enforcement/border security officials to address illicit trafficking and enhance existing rehabilitation initiatives in correctional facilities for drug offenders.
In accepting the equipment, Superintendent at the Prisons, Rupert Neckles welcomed the package since it was in keeping with the prison’s approach in dealing with incarcerated persons.
Supt Neckles said that the rehabilitation initiative at the prison has proven to be effective with individuals who have been re-integrated to society.
“Statistics at the prison has shown that over the past years the inmates who took active part in the rehabilitation process left the prison and are outside without being re-offenders…”, he said.
“Rehabilitation plays a very important role, security is number one but it goes hand in hand because if you don’t put programmes in place to ensure that someone try to rehabilitate themselves, then security alone wouldn’t work”, he added.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security and Public Administration, Anna Brizan who accepted the donation on behalf of government assured the RSS that they will be put into immediate use.
She said the computers will outfit a Learning Resource Facility which would benefit both employees and inmates alike and the sewing machine and woodwork tools would form part of “our sewing and industry shop programme and contribute to the rehabilitation and self-sufficiency programme of the institution…”.
“It is imperative to note that we as an institution are aspiring towards a larger progamme, a higher programme of penal reform which is premise among other key pillars, on policy and legislative reform, institutional strengthening and capacity development, infrastructure development, expansion of the rehabilitation programme, expansion of the industrious programme, to afford not just sufficiency but for optimised revenue earning potential that could be re-invested into the institution,” she explained.
Director of RSS, Lieutenant Commander Brian Roberts indicated that he hoped the equipment would be put to immediate use at the prison.
He said: “We are here to present the Government and people of Grenada (with) some equipment that we believe that can assist in strengthening your rehabilitation initiatives here at the correctional facility.
“The computers and other equipment which are made available for you will hopefully improve the technical and vocational training conducted in your correctional facility and let us hope that the successful utilisation of these equipment will help to develop skills which can open great technical opportunities for the formerly incarcerated persons, once they are re-integrated into society,” he added.
Acting Commissioner of Prisons, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) John Mitchell noted that the primary responsibility of the institution is to ensure that inmates are properly rehabilitated in an effort to prevent a re-offence and any help that is given to do so, must be appreciated.
“We have the tremendous responsibility to ensure that persons are rehabilitated. Gone are the days when persons are locked up and the keys are thrown away. Now we have to face the reality that individuals…will at one point in time or the other return to society and we have … a cooperate responsibility to be able to do what we can do for them in a tremendous way and I just want to say thank you very much.
“This is really where the tyre hits the road…we have a consorted effort in ensuring that the accused could benefit from the purpose of rehabilitation…”.