‘Fresh Start’ programme aims to rehabilitate prisoners

A total of 28 inmates from different prison facilities have benefited from the Guyana Prison Service (GPS) ‘Fresh Start’ programme, which was initially launched in 2022.

According to a press release from the GPS, 14 toolkits were issued in 2022 and a similar amount for 2023.

One of many who benefitted from the ‘Fresh Start’ programme

The toolkits provided to inmates were in categorised areas such as tailoring, animal husbandry, welding, electrical installation, joinery, plumbing, landscaping, cosmetology, and product.

Director of Prisons (Acting) Nicklon Elliot, explained that the ‘Fresh Start’ Initiative is a demonstration of the government’s commitment to rehabilitation, providing second chances, and empowering individuals to embrace a future full of promise and opportunity.

The program is designed to reduce criminal recidivism by providing resources and motivation for success when rejoining the community. It also aims to meet the needs of ex-offenders transitioning from incarceration back into society, as well as giving former offenders a chance to be better individuals.

The Head of the Prison Service’s Strategic Management Department, Rae-Dawn Corbin-Cameron, also emphasized that the toolkits provided to assist former prisoners to earn an honest living.

The Fresh Start oversight committee is responsible for reviewing all applications, verifying the area of operation, and monitoring the progress of successful applicants. The GPS plans to expand the oversight committee in 2024 to have more officers dedicated to identifying eligible candidates.