Information Officer II
Rehabilitative efforts at Her Majesty’s (HM) Prison gained more momentum this year with the addition of three academic classes to its growing list of programmes for inmates.
The new Mathematics, English and Art courses are geared towards improving the academic level of the inmates, while positioning them with the opportunity to do their General Education Diploma (GED) or Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.
Inmates can now benefit from Mathematics and English classes being taught by Mr. Ashford Harrigan, the newest teacher attached to the prison in September. Mr. Harrigan also offers Mathematics and English classes for the juveniles who have been sentenced or remanded to the prison. In addition, Mr. David Quesada of Cedar School International has also partnered with the institution as a volunteer Mathematics teacher.
Inmates are also able to enrol in Art class at the prison, via volunteer teacher Ms. Patricia Johnston, who is also an Art teacher at Cedar School International.
Meanwhile, the prison’s library has also been enhanced, through the experience of Ms. Margie Devilliers, who has been providing technical support to the rehabilitation team in this area since 2014. Ms. Devilliers has also acted as the channel for the volunteer teachers who have come from Cedar School International.
The rehabilitation team at HM Prison places inmates in classes that offer the best opportunity for the inmate’s rehabilitation by identifying his or her index crime and seeking to address that behaviour first and foremost.
The academic courses complement the current behavioural modification programmes offered at the prison through either group or individual counselling. These programmes include Anger Management, Houses of Healing, Partners for Peace, Substance Abuse Awareness and Just Think.
The Youth-At-Risk programme is geared toward discouraging juveniles from adopting lives of crime by listening to real life experiences of other young persons whose freedom was forfeited and taken away when they were imprisoned due to crimes they committed.
Superintendent of Prison, Mr. David Foot is appreciative of the efforts of the business and religious communities in voluntarily supporting the rehabilitative efforts, and other areas of the prison over the years. He also thanked community-spirited organisations that have volunteered time or resources toward the continued development of the prison’s services. These include Bolo’s Department Store, Caribbean Printing Company Limited, Island Services BVI Limited, Road Town Wholesale and Rite Way Supermarkets, V.I. Block Company Limited, Medicure Pharmacy, New Testament Church of God, and New Life Baptist Church.
Her Majesty’s Prison falls under the portfolio of the Ministry of Education and Culture, and is committed to ‘Creating a Culture of Excellence’.