8 Prisoners graduate from anger management course

― rehabilitation of prisoners an ongoing process

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, June 12, 2019

“The programme carried a massive effect on us,” related Mohammed Ali – a prisoner who completed 12 weeks training as an Anger Management Training programmer. He was one of eight prisoners who graduated from the programme.

Ali said that if it were not for the initiative by the Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels and the various facilitators, they would not have the knowledge they have acquired. “We learnt well from the programme. We learnt more about anger and how anger could affect people. Anger could be good, and anger could be bad, it all depends on how you decide to relate it,” Ali stated.

Officer-in-charge of the Georgetown Prison, Nicklon Elliot, Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels, Facilitators Denise McKenzie and Hubert Jack along with six of the eight graduates of the anger management programme.

The Director of Prisons, in brief remarks, noted that the training is part of a rehabilitative drive that held under the theme ‘Revitalising a purpose-driven organisation’. The training is the third such programme conducted at the Camp Street Prison.

Director Samuels pointed out that in the prison environment, anger management is sometimes the key to survival and the thin line between freedom and continued imprisonment. “It is through such training that we intend to build capacity so that those persons who are sent to be with us for a particular period of time, they will be able to effectively deal with anger-related issues  during that period and come out of prison at their prescribed time and not have to do other sentences… For the time that we have reconstituted this training, we have seen a significant reduction in terms of the prisoner to prisoner violence… we are seeing a significant change in prisoners’ behaviours across the prison service.”

He explained that many persons who were once deemed the ‘bad eggs’ are now advocates for other prisoners to conduct themselves in a respectable manner. Samuels indicated that one of the reasons for the lack of larger batches is due to space constraint and not the lack of funds. Nevertheless, he said that the prison directorate remains confident that as the prison infrastructure continues to be developed, more prisoners will benefit from such rehabilitative training.

Samuels made it clear that rehabilitation of prisoners is an ongoing process, stating that “we are adequately preparing them whether it is with skill or educational training so that when they are released back into society, they are productive citizens. We have many persons who would have left these walls, and they are now gainfully employed as a result of the skills they would have acquired.”

Images: Giovanni Gajie