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Public urged to support persons who are incarcerated

Public urged to support  persons who are incarcerated


The general public, especially those who have family and friends in the prison system, have been encouraged to support persons who are incarcerated, as by doing so, change may occur not only for that person, but the entire society.

Speaking to persons who gathered at the grounds of the High Court last Sunday for the staging of the annual “Talent behind the Walls” prison concert, Superintendent of Prisons Brenton Charles asked persons for their continued support, as the system tries its hand at rehabilitation.

“I am happy to see the turnout, because that shows that you have interest in people behind the walls and we are truly grateful for your support. I invite you to continue supporting us, as this is the season of good tidings and cheer and I want you to extend it not only at Christmas time, but all through the year,” said Charles.{{more}}

He said that by supporting inmates, one is not only doing it for the inmate, but also for persons who are not locked up.

“This was a very troubling year in terms of the young men killing off one another, so let us try to see if we can bring peace and restore the good name of St Vincent and the Grenadines, the home of the blessed,” said the prison boss, who opined that once a prisoner is given help, he can sometimes change and become a better person and that will benefit society.

Superintendent Charles said that in his view, although it may seem as if all is lost, it is not and persons can help bring back tolerance to the society.

“…All is not lost; we can have it again, but it depends on us,” said Charles.

Also addressing the gathering were Master of Ceremonies Jonathan Nicholls and Yvette Browne, a member of the Board of Visiting Justices.

“These are inmates that have done something wrong, but they belong to us, they belong to our homes; they are mothers, they are fathers; so let us encourage them, let us be there for them,” said Browne.

Nicholls, a former policeman, encouraged persons to walk the straight and narrow and embrace God.

“With God all things are possible. When you say praise the Lord, mean it. I have rededicated my life and I am back in the church full-time, back in Bible school doing theology…because the youths of St Vincent and the Grenadines need help and they need spiritually grounded persons to do that,” said Nicholls.

He said that while it takes a village and a community to raise a child, you have to pick the right people in the communities to do so, “because if you leave the drug men and other people to do it, they can raise them (children) the wrong way. It is a challenging job, but with help they (inmates) will succeed.”

During the concert, Nicholls called on stage to perform, former inmate and drug addict Lynette “Girlie” Cupid-Jackson. Nicholls used Cupid-Jackson as a perfect example to show that no matter how far gone someone may seem to be, they can always change.

Cupid-Jackson is now the holder of two certificates from the University of the West Indies (UWI), one which shows that she has completed (in September 2014) the requirements of a programme in advanced counselling skills working with adolescents and one which shows that she also completed (August 2015, UWI Mona, Jamaica) the training and certification programme for drug and violence prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

Taking the stage, Cupid-Jackson, who is attached to the Marion House as counsellor, commented: “If you believe it, you can achieve it, as with God all things are possible and there is nothing that God cannot do. If you believe in Jesus Christ, you will be saved.”

The prison concert saw performances from both male and female inmates, while music was provided by the police band.(RT)