Academic programmes in prison being neglected
EDITOR, The prisons recently celebrated prison week. It is important that thanks and appreciation be shown to those who over the years try to assist in the rehabilitation of the inmates, in one way or the other.
The prisons population contains persons of varying backgrounds and educational qualifications. The prison’s ‘Behind the Wall’ concert demonstrates the talents some of these persons possessed. Efforts must be made to continue it’s programmed of rehabilitation.
Very little is told of the programmes carried on in an effort to rehabilitate these inmates. This is indeed unfortunate. While it is commendable that many skills are done and taught, including farming, it is rather unfortunate that the academics are neglected. Many have gained passes in various subjects at CCSLC, which unfortunately ended. Also there are those who need to improve in their basic education of reading and writing, but this programme has also suffered due to the lack of financial support.
The prisons should not just serve as a place of punishment, but also a place of rehabilitation. But in doing so, funds must be made available. Unfortunately, there is no budget given to the
prison for rehabilitation and also the Ministry of Education through the Adult Education Division no longer sponsors and supports the above mentioned programmes.
I strongly recommend that at the next Budget, the government makes an allocation to the prisons for rehabilitation. For if we are indeed interested in seeing the development of these inmates and helping them to rehabilitate, then efforts must be made and support given to adult education programme in the prisons. For when they are educated, it lifts their esteem and helps them in looking at themselves positively rather than negatively.
The adult literacy programme can also assist inmates in problem solving and giving them hope when they leave prisons. Of course, we can not forget the prison ministry and all those churches who visit these institutions daily to impart the word of God to these inmates. We know that only Christ can truly reform the heart.
May God continue to bless the management and staff of the prisons.