An aerial view of Dodds Prison in St. Philip (FP)??

The Association of Caribbean Heads of Corrections and Prison Services (ACHCPS), the umbrella body of the heads of CARICOM correctional institutions, is partnering with Prison Fellowship International (PFI) to promote a common goal in prisoner transformation and ex-prisoner societal reintegration.

Their recent Memorandum of Understanding speaks to a new level of cooperation that emphasises the gains for society from reducing recidivism through education, training and productive engagement of inmates and ex-inmates, in the social and economic life of their communities.

The partnership focuses on the following general areas of cooperation: acknowledgement of mutual support and agreement on organisational purpose; mutual assistance in activities related to the treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders; exchange of programme information and the sharing of web site links.

The ACHCPS President is Mr. John Rougier and the Public Relations Officer is Colonel John Nurse, Superintendent of the Dodds Prison in Barbados.

PFI President is Mr. Ron Nikkel while Dr. Herbert Griffith is the Chairman of PFI’s North American and Caribbean region.????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

ACHCPS encompasses 16 Caribbean nations and ensures that the best policies and procedures are in place to meet the needs of correctional/prison environment in individual countries and the region as a whole.

The association is recognised by CARICOM as the competent authority on issues relating to correctional administration and management, penal reform and transformation, and offender treatment and re-entry.

PFI is considered the most extensive international criminal justice ministry with membership in 112 countries. This voluntary organisation maintains 13 national Prison Fellowship bodies within the Caribbean, serving nearly 15,000 prisoners in 39 prisons.?? The local assemblies are indigenous and volunteer-based.

Prison Fellowship International is active in every region of the world, with a network of more than 100,000 volunteers working for the spiritual, moral, social and physical well-being of prisoners, ex-prisoners, their families and victims of crime.

PFI agrees to provide ACHCPS access to its publications and offer ACHCPS research assistance in programmes and services that could make regional prisons more humane.

Prison Fellowship International will partner with Caribbean correctional heads on the transfer and adaptation of effective programmes of offender transformation from other regions within the global association.

The partnership promotes the training of Caribbean prison officers in specific projects of offender transformation, leadership training and formation, and restorative justice programmes.

There is also agreement to inform and encourage action by PFI affiliates in the Caribbean to settle and reintegrate repatriated offenders from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

PFI and ACHCPS will share best practices in keeping at-risk youth out of crime, while the former will offer its HIV/AIDS curriculum for training prisoners and their families, and collaborate in organising short-term medical teams to serve prisoners, their families and prison staff.

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