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Territorial Member Honourable Neville A. Smith handed over a cheque of $1,500.00 to Superintendent of Prison Mr. Verne Garde to assist in financing the Restorative Justice Programme at Her Majesty’s Prison.
The programme is part of a strategy to enhance literacy and to help improve the lives of individuals throughout the Territory including inmates at the prison.
A total of 15 inmates were awarded $100.00 each for participating in a recently held ‘Literacy Evening’ event which is a part of the Restorative Justice Programme. The funds were donated to each individual as a means of financial support towards their literary journey.
The contribution made on October 1 is a promise fulfilled by Honourable Smith who stated that the programme is one of his top priority initiatives.
Honourable Smith said, “I envision a territory that thrives on literacy. And this literacy project is an outlet devoted to providing a voice and a platform for incarcerated individuals, and my hope is to see it grow into something big.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley who was also present at the handing over ceremony encouraged the inmates to make the best of their situation and not to remain stagnant. He urged them not to “let this chapter of your lives define who you are and keep on striving until you get to the next level.”
The Restoration Justice Programme is high on government’s agenda in relation to its responsibilities to Her Majesty’s Prison and the mandate to rehabilitate prisoners. The Government of the Virgin Islands will continue to address these matters in an endeavour to help resolve issues of literacy in the Virgin Islands.