International standards expressed by such well-regarded organisations such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), have recognised the importance of the rehabilitation of prisoners for both their well-being and that of the wider community and society.
The H.M. Prison, built in 1840 is no longer fit for purpose due to its age and lack of provision. The Team Unity Government recognising that prison reform had been sadly neglected by the former administration, has provided for the construction of a new prison that will not only increase capacity to ensure prisoners have suitable living conditions, but which also provides for training and skills development facilities.
A transparent procurement process has already taken place this year, with a suitable provider selected. It is envisaged that designs will be completed in the first half of 2017. The completion of the designs is a necessary first step in order to obtain a proper estimate of the cost of constructing the new prison. On taking up office the government understood that a correctional facility was to be built under the 10th EDF EU-funded project. However, they were subsequently advised that the funds allotted were insufficient and had been re-assigned. The Budget 2017 has therefore provided for the essential first stage of obtaining,designs and the associated construction costs.
Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said:
“It is fundamental to a civilised society that we uphold the dignity and human rights of our prisoners in accordance with international conventions and also simply, because it is the right thing to do. Whilst it is important that persons are punished for their crimes, it is equally important that when they leave prison they are able to reintegrate into society. If they are suitably skilled, they can lead meaningful lives and be able to provide for themselves and their families. It is therefore our hope that a new prison will be able to achieve this.”