Nearly eighty prisoners have applied to follow a course that could improve their skills and pave the way for them to employment. This is a learning opportunity designed to prepare prisoners to reintegrate into society once they have served their sentence. The initiative is being coordinated by the Correctional Services Agency and the University.
From next month, prisoners will be given the chance to follow any of the various courses offered to them, ranging from traditional subjects such as languages and mathematics to vocational training.
This will be done as part of a project of almost one million euros, part of these emanating from European funds, which will be coordinated by the Agency for Correctional Services and the University of Malta with the aim of offering a second chance to the prisoners who are at the Corradino Correctional Facility.
Dr Joseph Giordmaina said “the majority of people who go to prison, come out sooner or later. That is our point of departure. The other starting point is the idea that formerly the function of prison was a form punishment which is an antiquated idea. ”
Dr Joseph Giordmaina from the Faculty of Education at the University of Malta specializes in the field of education for prisoners. He said there were nearly eighty prisoners who applied for these courses which vary in content and level. The aim of the courses is to help the reintegration of prisoners into society by finding employment through the skills they have acquired in prison.
Dr Giordmaina said a crucial link that makes a difference is the role of security guards who were also given specialized training to be able to complement the formal and informal educational process of the prisoners.
“A prisoner knows that he is going through things that the average man in the street is not going through. I will give you an example. For example, a person has a case tomorrow, so you have to understand that this is a tense moment because a man is away from his family and this is what prisoners have to deal with and learn to handle. ”
Dr Giordimaina said that in preparation for the courses, four classes inside the prison were given a completely new look, in an environment created to encourage prisoners to take part in this learning opportunity.