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The Woodlands Primary School in Cross Keys, Manchester, has received a facelift, carried out by persons on the Inmates Public Work Programme, which is administered by the Ministry of National Security.
Speaking at a re-dedication ceremony held at the school yesterday (September 9), State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Arthur Williams, said the current phase of the programme was carefully structured to prevent persons from escaping.
“It was built on a vision that our prisons should not be merely places of punishment, but in fact institutions of rehabilitation for offenders. And that vision is what guided the Inmates Public Work Programme. In the past we have had persons escaping while doing work at public facilities, but this time we carefully selected those inmates that are best suited to carry out public works; and in this new phase we have not had one person escaping. The programme is going well, we have various skills in the prisons and what we need now is public support,” Mr. Williams said.
He added that the programme is a very important feature of rehabilitating inmates. “It is not only a means of putting prisoners to work, it is an important feature of rehabilitation of those people who we have in our care. We can’t afford to let them out in the same way that they came in, and have them repeat the same wrongs, so we have to find ways of truly rehabilitating them. Many of them came as illiterates, and it is our duty to educate and teach them the value of work. Success in this programme will see a transformed set of individuals who, despite the circumstances that put them behind bars, they would have been equipped to be builders of this country,” he stated.
Work at the school included painting of the building and fixtures, with paint donated by Brighton Engineering Limited, and general cleaning and bushing of the surrounding. It was done in time for the start of the new academic year.