Inmates show off their certificates after completing the first Life Skills Reintegration Programme at His Majesty’s Prison. (Photo: GIS)

Fourteen inmates at His Majesty’s Prison recently completed the facility’s first Life Skills Reintegration Programme, government announced Tuesday.

The six-week course educated nine men and five women about reoffending behaviours and other topics including marital enrichment, finance, mental health, spiritual growth and education.

The initiative was a partnership between HMP and the New Life Baptist Church “Correction Fellowship and the Righteous Invasion of Truth (RIOT) Ministry,” according to government.

Deputy Superintendent Raymond Grant praised the participants at the certificate ceremony.

“I am delighted to see the collective efforts of both public and private entities in assisting the prison with rehabilitation programmes for inmates,” he said. “The introduction of the Life Skills Reintegration Programme is in addition to our existing anger management, skills for life, counselling, and rehabilitation debate activities.”

Mr. Grant added that the programme allows representatives from external agencies into the prison as part of a “through-the-gate” initiative designed to smooth inmates’ transition back into society.

“Often, when inmates return to the community, they face stigma and a lack of tangible support,” he said, adding, “I am pleased that through this programme they can earn a certificate that serves as evidence of their efforts to progress and become better versions of themselves.”

Course facilitators included representatives from the National Bank of the Virgin Islands, MWM Finance and the Deputy Governor’s Office, as well as Sharifa Smith, Shaina Smith-Archer, Pastor Collin Gunthorpe, Pastor Mitchell Glaze, Dr. June Samuel and Dr. Albert Tomkins, according to government.