Three ex-prisoners on Friday became the second set of recipients of the government’s “Fresh Start” Initiative.
Minister of Home Affairs, Minister Robeson Benn handed over packages to Eduardo Moore, Dharmendra Persaud and Adriane Stewart at a simple presentation ceremony held at the Prison Headquarters boardroom.
Moore was the recipient of a complete kit of welding tools and equipment, Persaud received 100 broilers with all the essential amenities, while Stewart collected a complete sewing kit.
Minister Benn, during his remarks, said the Fresh Start programme, is dedicated to reducing criminal recidivism in the local Prison system, and at the same time helping individuals gain access to resources and to provide the necessary motivation for success when reintegrating into their respective communities.
Director of Prisons, Nicklon Elliot, said that while the “Fresh Start” initiative offers ex-prisoners a new beginning, the gesture was part of the holistic approach to rehabilitation for inmates when they leave the prison system.
“The idea also is to help ex-offenders make a smooth transition back into society. It is believed that recidivism rates are reduced if an offender is able to make a smooth transition, so the programme was designed to address the criminogenic needs of offenders, who upon successful completion of the rehabilitative pathways will be well equipped for their reintegration as law-abiding and productive members of society,” The Prison Head stated.
The trio was considered for the “Fresh Start Toolkit” based on a number of qualifying criteria while in prison, which included participation in training programmes, family support, and a post-release plan.
The recipients thanked the Ministry and Guyana Prison Service for their support.