The Department of Correctional Services (DCS), launched its Inmate Reintegration Preparation Programme at the Tamarind Farm Adult Correctional Centre (TFACC) yesterday. The Programme dubbed ‘Imagine Me’, is geared towards addressing the cognitive and emotional needs of inmates, before reintegration into society.
‘Imagine Me’ was implemented from a partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID) and DCS. The programme runs for 12 weeks and focuses on empowering inmates while enabling them to identify training and employment opportunities just before completing their sentences. Focus areas include the importance of optimism, self-esteem and self- care, emotional intelligence, stress management, mental health, sexual health and technical and vocational training.
Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, the Hon. Rudyard Spencer, lauded the conceptualisation of the rehabilitation programme. “I am pleased to say that we are making strides in our efforts to transform and rehabilitate offenders, which will contribute to the creation of a safer Jamaica. Our focus is to explore all available opportunities with the private sector, our regional and international partners, so that offenders can leave better than they came in”, Minister Spencer said.
“At the Department, we not only focus on educating the inmates and teaching them technical and vocational skills, we are also addressing the cognitive behaviour of inmates and fixing the psychosocial problems that contribute to recidivism”, added the Commissioner of Corrections, Lt. Col. (Retired) Gary Rowe.
One inmate said the initiative is warmly welcomed in addition to existing rehabilitation programmes. “I am really happy for this programme and the case managers present here. It is good to have a listening ear. With their help, I am now identifying more positive ways to improve my life”, he said.
‘Imagine Me’ will be facilitated by case managers and correctional officers from DCS with training in Risk Assessment, Psychology, Psychosocial Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Social Work. It is one of the several avenues utilised by DCS to hamper recidivism and ensure successful reintegration of offenders.