Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Reformed persons exiting the prison system now have a greater opportunity to become productive citizens following a new initiative introduced by St. Kitts and Nevis Cabinet of Ministers led by Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew.
Released inmates who are members of the Rehabilitation Programme will be attached to the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) or a similar programme where they can gain employment to support themselves and their families.
Virgil Hodge, Rehabilitation Officer at His Majesty’s Prison (HMP), applauded the government for introducing this measure.
“It will reduce the recidivism rate, and so I think it is a good initiative, a good pilot project that the government is using to help young men and women.” Officer Hodge stated.
The senior prison official added that two young men from the programme were recently employed. One was attached to a government programme, while the other worked with a private company.
“Right now, I am going through documents for the next two or three months to see who is going to be released so that we can get that set up in the meantime while they are still in prison so that when they are released, a job opportunity is waiting on them,” Ms Hodge added.
The Rehabilitation Programme engages incarcerated men and women in educational programmes, music, art, agriculture, construction, baking, mentorship, and training, among others.