Government launches training program for prison inmates

The €1 million project will be funded through the European Social Fund and will aim to give inmates training before actually leaving prison

A number of training programmes will be launched in the coming weeks for inmates, with the aim of improving their chances of integrating back into society after serving their time in prison.

Addressing a press conference together with parliamentary Secretary for EU funds Aaron Farrugia, Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia said that the €1 million project will see both the facility's inmates and employees trained.

The project is being funded by the European Social Fund.

The minister said that initially, 120 professional and 77 residents would be trained.

"The aim will be to give the residents the necessary skills for them to be able to join the workforce," said Farrugia, adding that effective social reintegration would also be a priority.

The project, he said, would be spread across four main areas, namely: formal and informal education that include vocational training and sports; physical and mental health focusing on drug abuse, anger management and sexuality; reparative justice for inmates to be able to give back to society; as well as work and accommodation.

Farrugia said that research had shown that in cases where former inmates struggled to find employment or accommodation, the chances of them ending up back in jail were significantly higher.

He stressed that through the initiative the ministry hoped to give inmates a second chance. 

In addition to work with inmates, the minister said that the project will also aim to work with their families, again, to ensure that they do not fall into past habits once the inmates are out.

"In addition to the funds, the ministry wants to have a system of profiling for each inmate," he said. 

Farrugia said that the ministry would also be undertaking research in order to better understand inmates’ life experiences.

This, he said, would in turn allow authorities to make Vetter informed decisions going forward.

Part of a broader 'holistic plan'

Farrugia said that the initiative should not be viewed in isolation but as part of a 'holistic plan'.

"We are addressing three strategies,” he said. "The integration of vulnerable people, the transition of the Corradino Correctional Facility from a prison to a correctional facility and further investment in human resources.”

Farrugia argued that these plans showed the government was honouring its pledge of promoting and facilitating social mobility.

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