- Executive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Audley Gordon, was among 215 Jamaicans conferred with national honours on Monday (October 21) for service to the nation.
- He was presented with the Order of Distinction (OD) in the Rank of Officer for 25 years of service to the nation’s correctional facilities.
- As a devoted Christian, Mr. Gordon has dedicated himself to the rehabilitation and welfare of Jamaican inmates, through his work with Prison Fellowship International.
Executive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Audley Gordon, was among 215 Jamaicans conferred with national honours on Monday (October 21) for service to the nation.
He was presented with the Order of Distinction (OD) in the Rank of Officer for 25 years of service to the nation’s correctional facilities.
As a devoted Christian, Mr. Gordon has dedicated himself to the rehabilitation and welfare of Jamaican inmates, through his work with Prison Fellowship International.
“I began volunteering with the prisons when I dedicated my life to Christ 25 years ago. I knew I wanted to be an active Christian. I didn’t want to just go to church as a ritual,” Mr. Gordon tells JIS News.
He recalls that when he started worshipping at the Faith Cathedral Deliverance Centre in Kingston, he joined the church’s Prison Ministry, which was very active.
He was later asked to head the group, which is an affiliate of Prison Fellowship International.
“I started by visiting the South Camp Adult Correctional Centre weekly, then I started going to (Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre). So far, I’ve visited all the prisons in Jamaica, where the ministry has encouraged and counselled hundreds of inmates. I love people and I am a forgiving person, so I think this helped to fuel my dedication over the years. I believe we are our brother’s keeper,” Mr. Gordon says.
He notes that while it is customary for persons to subscribe to retributive justice, citizens should become more open and appreciative of restorative justice.
“I believe everyone deserves a second chance and that God does not give up on people, so neither should we. No man is beyond God’s redemptive grace,” Mr. Gordon shares.
In 2009, while working with the prison fellowship, Mr. Gordon helped to conceptualise and execute an annual medical mission where medical and dental care is provided to inmates at correctional centres across the island.
Through this venture, more than US$15,000 worth of medicine has been donated to health facilities at the correctional centres.
“For the last 10 years, I have been the President of Prison Fellowship International, Jamaica, which is a chartered body under the Prison Fellowship International umbrella,” Mr. Gordon tells JIS News.
Mr. Gordon highlights that some of the projects he has worked on while serving the nation’s correctional facilities include an annual summer programme where children of inmates visit the facility to bond with their parent.
“We believe it is important for children with incarcerated parents to stay in touch with them. This bonding experience helps the inmates to stay on the right path and also serves to establish a level of parental presence in the child’s life,” he shares.
Other notable projects include renovation and installation of new toilets and urinals at Tower Street.
“We partnered with the [municipal corporation] and we were able to purchase and install a water pump. This was well received; the men were so happy the day we went to commission the pump,” Mr Gordon recounts.
He notes that although some persons do not believe in supporting the welfare of convicts, acts of kindness, counselling and love are key in successfully rehabilitating inmates.
Prison Fellowship International is a non-denominational Christian organisation, which was founded by Charles ‘Chuck’ Colson after he served time in prison during the 1970s. With its headquarters in Washington DC, Prison Fellowship has more than 117 member countries, including Jamaica.