Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 11, 2017 (SKNIS): Several inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) have thanked the Ministry of National Security in St. Kitts, as well as Crime Reduction Specialist, Dr. Neals Chitan for believing that they can change and equipping them with behavioural and coping strategies to achieve this.
Thirty of the men graduated from the 10-week Project Stop ‘n’ Think programme created by Dr. Chitan, which explored the roots of crime and used various techniques that encouraged the participants to “always stop and think before you proceed.” The graduation ceremony was held on Saturday, April 08, at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Basseterre.
Marius Webbe, who is presently serving a 30-year sentence, described the intervention by Dr. Chitan as “much needed,” noting that it brought a measure of hope to himself and his peers. The inmate also credited Superintendent of Prisons, Mr. Junie Hodge, and his staff for reinforcing the rehabilitation and reform agenda at HMP. Mr. Webbe described Project Stop ‘n’ Think as an excellent complementary programme.
“I say to Mr. Chitan, you are an inspirer, a go getter and one who we have adopted as a mentor, a father. Thank you for giving me my hope back and [on behalf] of our residents, I say you are our guiding light,” Mr. Webbe stated.
Wycliffe Liburd shared similar sentiments as Webbe, while adding that the inmates were challenged to reflect on past missteps and on who they are. He became emotional while sharing his thoughts and apologized to his mother for disappointing her by being in prison, rather than having an honest job and contributing productively to society.
Travis DuPorte and Raheem Crossley also gave positive reviews of the programme and said they were committed to leading more positive lives and helping others to do the same.
Dr. Chitan said he enjoyed working with the inmates and learnt from them during the weekly sessions, which often ran longer than scheduled. He encouraged the general public to give the persons who are eligible for release a second chance as they reintegrate into society.