Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 28, 2017 (SKNIS): The Rehabilitation Group Impression (RGI) band of Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) has been a fan favourite of many in St. Kitts and Nevis, and on Thursday, April 27, one of the fans stepped forward to tangibly say thank you.
Honourable Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister responsible for Social Development in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), donated a new DELL laptop to the HMP to be specifically used in the institution’s rehabilitation through music initiative, which involves the band. The band members made the request earlier this month following a consultation with a contingent from Nevis, headed by the junior minister.
On Thursday (April 28), a brief ceremony was held at HMP where the NIA’s Assistant Secretary in the Ministry Social Development, Michelle Liburd, supported by Director of Youth Development, Zahnela Claxton, presented the equipment to Superintendent of Prisons, Junie Hodge.
“We are here this morning to deliver on that request,” Ms. Liburd said, referring to the April encounter. “We just wish you all the very best; we wish the members of the band the very best, and the Nevis Island Administration is here to assist in whatever way we possibly can.”
Mr. Hodge graciously accepted the laptop and said that he was moved by the gesture given that Honourable Brandy-Williams is still mourning the loss of her husband in late March. “She still remembered our programme here,” he stated, while expressing condolences.
The superintendent of prisons reminded that anyone can be subject to unfortunate circumstances, which may result in his or her incarceration. He encouraged greater empathy from the public where the residents are concerned, noting that everyone “deserves a second chance.”
HMP Resident, Rudeni Williams, who leads the RGI band, said the band has grown tremendously since its inception in 2013. He said that the band has performed in Nevis several times and Honourable Brandy-Williams, Ms. Liburd and Ms. Claxton, are three of the group’s biggest fans.
Director Claxton also shared the sentiments expressed by Superintendent Hodge that the residents should be given a second chance.
“We continue to give them a second chance; we continue to embrace them,” she stated. “Superintendent Hodge, I join you in sending a heartfelt plea to the general public. This is just one step, and there are many more persons out there who can make similar contributions in anyway and so I am appealing to all of you to give that second chance and to be here for our young people at Her Majesty’s Prison.”