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Prison inmates kill time with artistic endeavour

Victim Fund that will pay for psychological and medical support for victims of crime to be part-funded by sales of art work and curtains made by  prisoners

matthew_agius
Matthew Agius
23 September 2014, 5:22pm
Ministers Michael Farrugia and Manuel Mallia (second and third from left) at the Corradino Correctional Facility
Ministers Michael Farrugia and Manuel Mallia (second and third from left) at the Corradino Correctional Facility
Corradino inmates' art on sale at Notte Bianca
Minister for Home Affairs and National Security Michael Mallia announced that his ministry intends to give inmates new skills that will give them a better chance of staying out of prison upon re-entering society.

“When I was entrusted with this ministry, I wanted to make CCF a place of discipline, but also a place of rehabilitation,” Mallia said, listing the creation of the RISE foundation, the introduction of sewing classes, the setting up of a new games room and music room as evidence of this.

The fight against drugs in prison continues unabated with the training of new sniffer dogs, which replaced the previous dogs which the minister said “had become the inmates’ pets, such was the neglected state of affairs in the past”. 

“Prison is not a place where you can take drugs,” Mallia said.

The ministers spoke with a group of inmates, surrounded by their paintings, which range in style from landscapes, to cubist, to abstract, admiring and hearing about their work.

Announcing that art lessons are now being offered to inmates, Mallia said: “we want to give the inmate the chance to learn a skill or language of his choice and we achieved this thanks to the employees and directorship of CCF… inmates want to kill time, not be killed by time. We are all susceptible to error, but society must understand that justice demands a person lose their liberty, not their dignity.”

With this in mind, Mallia thanked Acting Commissioner of Police Raymond Zammit for taking this concept on board and ordering the refurbishment of the lockup at Police HQ.

Mallia also thanked the Plaza Hotel for donating a sum to purchase canvas and paint for the inmates.

Minister for the family and social solidarity Michael Farrugia announced the setting up of a Victim Fund, a project which will pay for psychological and medical support for victims of crime. The project will be funded by sales of art work and curtains made by the prisoners, part of the profit from the sales of which will go to the RISE foundation.

RISE has recently acquired a property which it is converting into a “halfway house”, offering temporary shelter to released inmates who have nowhere to go, until they are able to make their own arrangements.

matthew_agius
Court reporter Matthew Agius is a Legal Procurator and Commissioner for Oaths. Prior to re...