Bahamas: Correctional Officers and Non-Violent Inmates to Benefit from Vocational Training

NASSAU, The Bahamas — The Citizen Security and Justice Programme of the Ministry of National Security is pleased to announce today that, from July 7 – October 7, 2018, it is anticipated that 143 inmates will undergo training from the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) in seven vocational areas, namely auto mechanics, electrical installation, plumbing, carpentry, information technology, barbering and garment manufacturing.

These non-violent offenders have undergone numerous screenings by the Bahamas Department of Corrections (BDOC) and the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) to determine eligibility based on their reintegration potential.

Inmates were chosen to begin their preparations for reintegration into society once they demonstrated engagement (accountability and motivation), aptitude in supplementary assessments of numeracy, literacy, vocational acumen and psychological readiness based on their criminal history and offence severity record.

Prison industries have existed in the Bahamas Department of Corrections (BDOC) for many years and this collaboration with the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) merely serves as a much-needed upgrade to that existing framework.

As a part of the rehabilitation framework, correctional plan records will be used to track performance of inmates admitted into the program. This case management process will ensure that the inmate chosen remains a good fit for this newly improved opportunity.

The Government of The Bahamas continues to take bold steps in activating initiatives that increase the level of citizen security within the wider Bahamian community. Enhancing the quality of the rehabilitation and reintegration programs at the prison for non-violent offenders who have served the majority of their sentences, is one of those key initiatives.

Further, to ensure sustainability of the program, seven selected correctional officers will begin training in the aforementioned disciplines.  This training will equip them to function as certified BTVI vocational instructors, working within the Bahamas Department of Corrections environment on a full-time basis. Six of the prison industries will be upgraded with modernized equipment to support this training initiative.

As in the past, upon their release inmates will leave the prison with training certification but with modernized industry experience.  Inmates will have BTVI instructors, use BTVI curricula, take the same examinations and will be graded by BTVI instructors the same as the campus-based BTVI students. Upon further academic screening, Inmates may also be able to use their certification to gain entry into BTVI for further training once they are released.

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