‘Fresh Start’ initiative sees three ex-prisoners receiving tool kits

Three ex-inmates are now recipients of tool kits which will aid their reintegration into society, as part of the Ministry of Home Affairs’ ‘Fresh Start’ programme being executed through the Guyana Prison Service (GPS).

According to the GPS, one of the former inmates, Elijah Alexander received a welding kit while Steve Hercules and Olotungie Wintz are beneficiaries of complete electrical and plumbing kits.

Director of Prisons (ag), Nicklon Elliot at the simple handing over ceremony on Thursday, explained that the programme is dedicated to reducing criminal recidivism by aiding ex-convicts to gain access to resources and to provide the necessary motivation for success.

“The programme not only addresses the needs of ex-offenders transitioning from incarceration back into society, but it also gives former offenders a chance to chart their own professional paths,” the prison service head stated.

The ex-inmates were considered for the Fresh Start toolkit based on a number of criteria while in prison, which included participation in training programmes, conducting reviews, family support, and a post-release plan.

The programme is reaping massive achievements, as the prison service had reported that recidivism in Guyana dropped from 13 per cent in 2021 to 10 per cent in 2022.

In 2022, 10 inmates received tools and equipment to earn a sustainable income in various fields, including cosmetology, tailoring, welding, carpentry, joinery and landscaping.