Helping Prisoners reintegrate into society

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The Antigua and Barbuda Halfway House in association with the Zadok Ministries International Macedonia is making great strides in helping male prisoners find their way back into society as productive residents.
That’s according to Garvin Gill who has been a resident at the Halfway House for the past two months. He is already poised to be the next custodian for the reintegration centre which operates in Bethesda.
Speaking with OBSERVER media, Gill, who was recently released from prison after serving an eight- month sentence, said the programme is a blessing to him and has helped to reform his thinking and attitude towards life.
“It is a programme that is going to uplift you, change and push you forward in life, especially if you want people to look up to you and be a good example for your children,” said the father of two.
Bishop Charlesworth Browne, founder and area director of the Halfway House, said many prisoners upon their release, desire not to go back to their communities, which contributed greatly to their lives of crime.
“One young man who was living in the Gray’s Farm area said … he would fall right back into his acts of crime and just wanted help to get out of the community so we assisted him,” said Bishop Browne.
The faith based programme which was started in 2014 has, so far, helped nine persons who were incarcerated with only one recidivist (repeat offender). The main features of the programme are: Christian nurture; counselling; wholesome living; skills training; dairy goat farming; and agroforestry. It is hoped that literacy based activities will also be included, Bishop Browne noted. 
People who are desirous of becoming part of the programme can reach out to the directors, who would determine selection by what they call a “prudent screening and interview process”. Interested parties can visit the Bethesda location for further details.

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