Minister says the plan will improve their job prospects upon release
Bandar Seri Begawan - Brunei Darussalam's Prisons Department has plans to introduce academic education for inmates to cater to their wide-ranging academic needs in order to expand their knowledge and skills, which will improve their employment prospects upon release.
Minister of Home Affairs, Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Hj Awg Badaruddin Pengarah Dato Paduka Hj Awg Othman, said this as he spoke at the opening ceremony of the 32nd Asian and Pacific Conference for Correctional Administrators yesterday at the Rizqun International Hotel.
Vocational education, which will provide job training that prepares inmates with the know-how and training for today's workplaces, has already been implemented and is part of the rehabilitation programme in Brunei.
Other programmes that have been already implemented and are part and parcel of the rehabilitation programmes are Life Skills. Education and religious programmes, said the minister.
"Life Skills Education emphasises the importance of social responsibility and concentration on parenting and family dynamics, while religious knowledge focuses on the principle, knowledge and understanding of the religious values as well as practising the principle of religious teaching," the minister said adding that this programme is compulsory for Muslim inmates in Brunei.
Another programme, which is still work in progress by the Prisons Department, is the involvement of Support Groups.
This programme focuses on volunteerism and involves the community and charity works, which the minister stressed, is very crucial in rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates into society.
All these programmes, he added, should be designed in line with the changing environment and the global trend and must be marketable just to ensure the inmates are capable of coping with the outside environment once they are released.
Touching on the theme "Caring and Meaningful Rehabilitation", the minister noted that it reflects the noble intentions and aspirations of correctional officers and professionals, as they look to assess and transform the way they operate.
It is a continuous effort to improve their ability as a trusted and respected correctional institution to treat, rehabilitate and reintegrate inmates during and after their incarceration.
"The ultimate goal is simply to help build a stronger and healthier society through guidance and redemption of those who have made wrong choices that have landed them in prison but still deserve to be treated as human beings."
This means ensuring that the inmates are given the rehabilitation, training and education that will allow them to make better choices when they leave the prison and at the same time allowing them to reintegrate into society. It is the correctional officers' responsibility to provide guidance and proper services that are vital and useful to the inmates, said the minister.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin