BVI Prison Hosts Male Vs Female Debate On Crime Reduction.

Photo: BVI GIS. The winning women's debate team were awarded a prize of $500, to be shared when they are released from prison. For reasons of confidentiality the names of the winning debaters were not released.
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His Majesty’s Prison in the British Virgin Islands held its first debating contest between male and female inmate trams as part of its rehabilitation programme.

The debate was a joint venture between the prison and the New Life Baptist Church and is expected to be an annual event.

The female and male debate team argued over the moot, ‘Why is the rate of reoffending so high and what can the prison do to reduce the numbers.’

Minister for Health and Social Development Vincent O. Wheatley said that with ongoing discourse surrounding prisoner rehabilitation and the Territory’s prison system, events like the debate underscores the prison’s commitment to listen to inmates and develop strategies to help with rehabilitation.

Wheatley said, “To break this cycle, we must invest in rehabilitative measures within our prison services, providing inmates with the tools and support needed for successful reintegration into society, ensuring that the path to redemption is paved with genuine opportunities for change and growth.”

The minister added, “This debate was a great initiative and I must give credit to the Prison Ministry arm at the New Life Baptist Church and His Majesty Prison for a wonderful initiative.”

Meanwhile, Superintendent for Prison Mr. Jay Kendall emphasised his team’s commitment to ensure that there is a long term goal and strategy behind prisoners rehabilitation at the prison.

Mr. Kendall said, “Events such as this are really important. For inmates to have their voice heard in terms of what they think the reasons are why people reoffend and what some of the solutions may be. My pledge today, is that based on what is been said and some of the suggestions and ideas will be included in my three-year strategic plan as we look to develop His Majesty’s Virgin Islands Prison Service.”

The Superintendent also thanked the rehabilitation team at the prison for their continued hard work and constant innovating new ideas to enhance the institution’s rehabilitative process.

The female team was declared winners of the debate and received $500 for their efforts. The valiant effort of the male team was also acknowledged and they received $250 which will be split between team members when they are released.

Meanwhile, Pastor of the Cane Garden Bay Baptist Church, Reverend Dr Michael A. Turnbull, who was the moderator of the event also pledged to donate five laptops from the Cane Garden Bay Baptist Church to His Majesty Prison to further assist with the prison’s rehabilitative efforts of prisoners.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development through its subsidiary His Majesty’s Prison remains committed to advancing the rehabilitation of prisoners in the Virgin Islands.

This report is based on a press release from the BVI Government Information Service. The report does not include any information on any ideas put forward by the debaters to reduce recidivism.

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