Officials at the Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF) have hailed the recently-held Inmates Family Day a success.
The event, once hosted annually at the BCF, forms part of ongoing efforts aimed at ensuring the rehabilitation of inmates at Saint Lucia’s lone penitentiary.
Hosted on August 6, the event allowed the families of incarcerated men and women to visit. Structured with a special emphasis on reestablishing connections, the event was observed under the theme “Reuniting Families, Restoring Bonds for Reintegration”.
According to Clinical Social Worker Mrs. Milissa Dupres-Roserie all accounts deemed the activity a success.
“It was a very successful event judging by the favorable responses from the families of inmates, as well as the inmates themselves,” she said. “There were approximately 150 persons in attendance and so we were pleased to see so many families represented.”
The event started at 10:30 a.m. and ended at 3 p.m. Its commencement was marked by a formal gathering, with addresses by the Assistant Director of Probation and Parole (Castries) Mr. Cuthbert Henry; and Head District Councilor Ms. Joycelyn Eugene.
After the formal session, inmates were allowed to engage with their families. Social workers and counselors lent support to the families and made notes where necessary. Children present will be provided support even after the Family Day.
The conclusion of the event was marked with each family receiving a bag of groceries, a gesture facilitated by the sponsorship received for the event. According to Mrs. Roserie the event proved somewhat emotional for attendees, and provided a sense of fulfilment to coordinating officers, given the success registered.
Officials anticipate that the reestablished Inmates Family Day can encourage positive behavioral changes to further reduce instances of recidivism.
Mrs. Roserie expressed gratitude to corporate sponsors and team members on behalf of the Bordelais Correctional Facility. Their support, she said, proved immeasurable.
The Soufriere Fishermen’s Cooperative Society Limited through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Saint Lucia, has assumed ownership of the fisheries facility