Prison Rehabilitation Programme in St. Kitts and Nevis Reaps Success; Prison Population Reduced Significantly

The content originally appeared on: ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation

Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 14, 2022 (SKNIS): Rehabilitation is a central goal of the correctional system. As such, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis established a rehabilitation programme aimed at creating an opportunity for inmates to make a smooth reintegration into society, a programme that has been successful to date.

“The rehabilitation programme has done well. Over the years we have seen less re-offenders. There is still a small percentage of person re-offending and coming back to prison,” said Principal Officer Charles Molyneaux during his appearance on the Wednesday, April 13 edition of Working for You.

Principal Officer Molyneaux said that the prison population has been reduced as a result of the programme.

“Back in as early as 2014/2015, we would have had about 374 prisoners within the Federation and presently we have about 160… in St. Kitts and Nevis. That in itself speaks volumes. A lot of people who you would have seen going out and coming back in, they no longer come and some of them you will see with meaningful jobs,” said the Principal Officer.

He added that the programme provided an avenue for people to learn a skill. Several programmes were implemented at HMP to rehabilitate inmates. These include classes at the secondary and tertiary level; vehicle mechanics; welding; building construction; tailoring; agriculture; art and craft; mentoring; counselling; conflict resolution; religious instruction; welfare assistance and substance abuse disorder, as well as behavioural therapy. There is also the popular RGI Prison Band.

“There are persons who would have come into the institution, would have learned a skill, helped with some of the projects that are going on. For example, the Defence Force, the male barracks there, prisoners assisted in building that and some of the guys would have learned a skill. After they left prison they ended up doing their own thing.”

Principal Officer Molyneaux said that the staff at HMP remains committed to rehabilitating inmates so that they can lead productive lives and not return to prison upon release.