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$2.4m rehab centre for ex-prisoners
Cabinet has approved $2.45 million in funding for establishment of a rehabilitation centre for ex-prisoners. Minister of the People and Social development Glenn Ramadharsingh, who made the announcement yesterday, said the centre, to be situated on 50 acres of land in Wallerfield, would be built by Vision on a Mission. The project will utilise 50 acres of land, 12 of which had already been purchased. Ramdharsingh said prisoners will be empowered through involvement in small businesses such as handicraft and agriculture to keep them from going back to a life of crime.
The minister also announced a new social support service initiative to assist people affected by the state of emergency in hot spot areas. He said while the Prime Minister had made a very successful and sustained attack on crime, it was the aim of Government to take away the “mental guns and psychological artillery” from criminals through a focus on rehabilitation. The initiative—a combined effort of Ministry of the People and Social Development, Legal Affairs, Health and National Security—will function during the three-month period of the state of emergency. It would begin by targeting two communities per week, starting with hot spots further away from Port- of-Spain, before returning to the city.
“The ministry recognises that despite the various benefits of the state of emergency, the lives of individuals and families may be disadvantaged as the breadwinners may be obstructed from work for various reasons,” Ramadharsingh said. He admitted that the state of emergency could negatively impact the earnings of some households and there was a possibility that people in vulnerable circumstances were being made even more susceptible by the loss of income.
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