GIS – 29 December, 2016: “We live in a country which symbolises a message for the world and is widely respected as a model of peaceful coexistence. Despite looming difficulties, we have to continue working together and adopt a working philosophy based on a culture of excellence as well as respect our fellow citizens”, said the President of the Republic, Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, yesterday in Beau Bassin.
The President was addressing around ten women detainees during a visit at the Open Prison for Women in the context of an activity organised to mark the New Year’s festive season. Detainees were also presented with gift tokens on that occasion.
In her speech, the President while lauding the fact that detainees have created a family unit within the Open Prison, pointed out that yet, at this time of the year it would not be easy for most of them to be far away from their families.
Speaking about the reintegration process of detainees, Dr Gurib-Fakim stated that values learnt during their time spent within the Prison structure would definitely help them in their rehabilitation. The President also recalled her visit earlier this year to another Prison where she discovered the different talents displayed by detainees in making compost, sculptures, and handicrafts. There is need for these products to be further valued, she said.
The President praised the remarkable work achieved by the personnel of the Mauritius Prison Service in offering the necessary support to detainees which involves the provision of an adequate environment to favour the reestablishment of friendly ties and learn how to live within the society. She underscored the importance for the public to understand that, despite any one person may commit a mistake, we should be able to forgive and give a second chance.
The physical structure of the Open Prison for Women (Barkly) includes a prayer point, kitchen, medical unit, and tailoring workshop. Detainees also benefit from embroidery, Yoga and Tai Chi classes.
The Mauritius Prison Service has as objectives to maintain order, control, and discipline; provide a safe and healthy environment for the detainees which is conducive to their rehabilitation and spiritual enhancement. It also helps detainees address their offending behaviour and prepare them to live a full and responsible life.
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