Prisoners at the Dominica State Prison have received the opportunity to learn the art of transcendental meditation, as well as engage in competitive indoor and outdoor sports on the prison’s compound, according to Superintendent of Prisons Algernon Anthony Charter.
In his address at the closing of the January Criminal Assizes at the High Court of Justice on Thursday Charter said the transcendental meditation program which recently started is intended to help change the behaviour of prisoners.
“This will help them to relax …. We hope that it will help them to see and behave differently,” Charter noted.
He assured that this program would not give prisoners the power or ability to abandon the prison grounds.
“The inmates who are going to do transcendental meditation, we give the assurance that they will not leave the prison shores … we offer opportunities hoping that they change their cognition,” Charter said.
“We are also going to start very soon some competitive sports between the inmates, booth indoor and outdoor,” he added.
A skills training program is being conducted at the institution, where prisoners are taught construction.
“We continue to do some skills work with inmates in terms of construction. We are constructing a new kitchen, bakery, mess hall and stall room facility with the help of the inmates,” Charter informed.
He also gave an account of the population of the state prison, stating that 275 inmates are housed there – four females and 271 males.
Sixty-nine males and one female are convicted from the High Court, while 143 males and three females were sentenced at the Magistrate’s Court. Fifty-six males are on remand, including three males standing for trial.
The superintendent said that there are a small number of juveniles enrolled at the prison. They are housed separately from the adults. Charter said that most violent fights occur among juveniles.
Hermisha Rolle/staff reporter.