Give ex-offenders a chance

Ex-offenders are stigmatized, discriminated against and disadvantaged because of their criminal records, and they need to be empowered through biblical and educational teachings.

That view was expressed recently by Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development Steven Blackett, at the closing ceremony of the Prison Fellowship conference at the Church of God of Prophecy, Water Street, Christ Church.

“In numerous instances, many of the incarcerated were not previously habilitated and so, a programme of habilitation ought to undergird our attention and interventions as we seek to empower inmates through biblical and educational teachings and other strategies, in pursuit of redeeming and forgiving the past and positively transforming the future,” he said.

Blackett noted that stigma hurts the chances of ex-offenders securing employment and other social and economic goods, and he stressed the importance of “giving ex-offenders a second chance”.

He also opined that incarceration not only affected offenders, but also their children and families, and their emotional, spiritual and material needs should therefore be taken into account.

“Against the backdrop of the exponential rise in criminal activity in the region, there will be an increasing and urgent need for programmes such as your Angel Tree Programme. The incarceration of greater numbers of males and fathers across the region…as a consequence of the rise in criminal activity, presents us with increasing numbers of children who need the care and attention of our societies as a whole,” Blackett stated.

The Social Care Minister emphasized that the relevance and significance of the Prison Fellowship programme could not be overstated, given the social, physical and financial costs associated with crime and incarceration, and he pledged his ministry’s continued support for its initiatives. 

10 Responses to Give ex-offenders a chance

  1. Dave Person
    Dave Person March 30, 2017 at 9:45 am

    then why give out police certificate of character?

    • Mariam Makeba
      Mariam Makeba March 30, 2017 at 10:19 am

      Good question, it starts with the system Sir. So you know what you have to do, put the wheels in motion to remove that block of them getting a certificate of character. Then you can start to talk of giving them a chance to resume normal life

    • Devonte Mccollin
      Devonte Mccollin March 30, 2017 at 11:00 am


  2. Tessa Trotman
    Tessa Trotman March 30, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Why wanna don’t teach entrepreneurship in jail . Selfdependance . Ahh you done know society in so forthcoming teach . Nuh give them help of a skill .

  3. BaJan boy March 30, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Stupseeee you lost all respect and seem not to realize it. Nobody was listening to wunnah and then you pray damnation on a country that wunnah destroy. Don’t know why all uh wunnah don’t join the leader and shut to f&$k up permanently and the one yuh live who now turn to joining you and cursing every body. A drowning rat..

  4. Elaine Vanhuis
    Elaine Vanhuis March 30, 2017 at 10:36 am

    It is time, but the only way this change will happen is when we understand who we are. In understanding our Godness, all of us, even the thief, and murderer, we will treat one another differently. In stead of seeing them as criminals can we see them as brothers who loss their way for one or more reasons. How would the one that many Barbadians hold in so high regard,Jesus, treat them. A train off the tract is still a train. Meaning a man or woman who break societies laws is still a human in need of loving compassion.

  5. gsmiley March 30, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Mariam there is no block to getting a certificate of character. Anybody can get one. It’s what is says on the reverse side of the document.

  6. Helicopter(8P) March 30, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Honorable minister! May I ask ! Is there a facility chaplain and a chapel on H M P Dodd ? Then if inmates are going to be rehabilitated then it starts at the Chaplain’s Office and the attendance to the Religious Volunteers (seminars) who give spiritial and social advice.

  7. L King March 30, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    @Tessa Trotman I agree with you.

  8. L King March 30, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    They need not only the biblical input into their lives but also training into knowing how to set up their own business and funding from the government to help give them a kick start


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