Substance Abuse Intervention for Lusignan Inmates

Inmates of the Lusignan Prison are currently benefitting from a three-day substance prevention program. The program is being executed by the Ministry of Social Protection, Probation and Social Services Department.

Senior Probation and Social Services Officer Ms. Deborah Joseph, explained that the role of probation officers in the prison is critical in the reintegration of inmates and as a result programs such as the one being executed are organized to assist in that process. She urged inmates to look at where they stand as an opportunity to correct wrongs and access second chances where possible.

“The prison system most time provides a temporary stay, by this I mean you are here only for a period of time, after which you are expected to be reintegrated into your households, communities and wider society… it is a place that will allow you to turn a new page in your life and a place you’re not expected to return to” Joseph said.

Ms. Sandra Braithwaite an officer attached to the Phoenix Recovery Project – a substance abuse recovery organization, said her organization will also be working with the inmates throughout the next three days to assist with several substance recovery methods and general awareness.

Ms. Braithwaite explained that she struggled with substance addiction for several years but was able to stop using addictive substances after partaking in the first female substance abuse program ten years ago. She has since joined Phoenix and is an advocate against substance abuse.

Phillip Drayton – A recovery specialist attached to Phoenix, told of the numerous effects of illicit substances and the process of addiction. He underscored that although many times persons start substance abuse as a coping mechanism for an issue they are faced with, long after that issue is gone, an addiction remains.

He said the culture which perpetuates substance abuse as the cool thing to do, specifically through music, is a very misleading one that fails to mention the harmful effects.

An inmate thanked the Ministry for its intervention and said he expects to learn much from the sessions since he struggles with addiction.

The program is a follow up to an intervention earlier in April, where inmates had a special family visit supervised by the Probation and Social Services Officer of the Ministry attached to the prison.