Bahamas News

Minister Dames Commends Catholic Church Men’s Prison Inmate Spiritual Mentoring

AMMCAMinDamesSep21176680#Bahamas, September 25, 2017 – Nassau – Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin Dames said, on September 21, 2017, that among the many important programmes geared towards the proper rehabilitation of prisoners is the aspect of the spiritual development of the prisoner.

“This most fundamental aspect cannot go unmentioned,” Minister Dames said, during an official launch of the Archdiocesan Catholic Church Men’s Association (ACCMA) Ministry of H.O.P.E. (Helping Our People Excel), at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services Remand Center Housing Unit.

The Catholic Church Men’s Ministry of H.O.P.E. will provide spiritual mentoring to further equip inmates in their rehabilitation and preparedness to re-enter society.

Among those present at the launch were Catholic Archbishop of Nassau the Most Rev. Patrick Pinder, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of National Security Carl Smith, Commissioner of Corrections Patrick Wright, Corrections Chaplin Rev. Leonard Clarke, members of the ACCMA and other members of the Clergy, and Correctional Officers.

Minister Dames said that because of the hard work of the Prison Chaplaincy, the nation was seeing that “hostile, hopeless inmates” were transformed into “decent productive members of society with the knowledge of religious and spiritual values.”

AMMCACommissCorrectionsSep2117ER6656“The religious and spiritual values being instilled in the inmates give them hope and skills necessary to re-enter society as productive and responsible citizens,” he said.

Minister Dames noted: “Was it not King David, when he pleaded for forgiveness from God, he asked God ‘to create in me a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me… and bring me back on to you as in the days of old’.    This is the fundamental aspiration of any individual’s spiritual development and growth, to be accepted after repentance.”

Minister Dames commended the ACCMA for the innovative initiative that was being launched that day and said that it offered its participants the opportunity to be “mentored by men of God”.

“This program will have attached conditions that require each participants to be subject to ongoing monitoring and supervision through faith-based activities,” he pointed out.

“The success of the proposed spiritual rehabilitative programs rests heavily not only on the Chaplain and the Archdiocesan men’s ministry but on all inmates who enter the program,” Minister Dames said.    “With the execution of this cooperative effort on the part of the Chaplain, the men’s group and inmates at Department of Correctional Services, the members of the public also play an extremely important role and its results will benefit the inmate, his family and the society at large.”

ACCMAGroupsSep2117ER6690Minister Dames said that all of the activities associated with the program promoted change of character and behavior.   He said that it was his belief that anyone who was given the right set of circumstances, could and would change.

“This is indeed an example of the co-operation of the various stakeholders in the society to assist in producing more tolerant and accepting community in which rehabilitated persons would be afforded the opportunity to co-exist in a non-judgmental environment,” he said.

Minister Davis said that the government supported the bold initiative, which was geared to assist young men through developing counseling and religious programs that provide mentoring.

“Reverend Clarke and staff, who have provided spiritual counseling and support for inmates, are now joined by this group of men who will play an important role in assisting with the reformation and rehabilitation of these young men for re-entry into society and reduce the levels of inmates’ recidivism, fights, staff assaults, drug consumption, illiteracy and idleness,” he said.

“On behalf of us all, let me once again thank the Archdiocesan Catholic Church Men’s Association for their commitment to assist with the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders.”

By: Eric Rose (BIS)

Photo Captions:

Header Photo:  Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin Dames speaks with two inmates, September 21,2017, at the Official Launch Ceremony for the Archdiocesan Catholic Church Men’s Association (ACCMA) Ministry of H.O.P.E. (Helping Our People Excel), at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services Remand Center Housing Unit.  (BIS Photo/Eric Rose)

1st insert:  Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin Dames addresses the Official Launch Ceremony of the Archdiocesan Catholic Church Men’s Association (ACCMA) Ministry of H.O.P.E. (Helping Our People Excel), at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services Remand Center Housing Unit, September 21, 2017.  (BIS Photo/Eric Rose)

2nd insert:  Commissioner of Corrections Patrick Wright speaks at the ceremony. (BIS Photo / Eric Rose)

3rd insert:  Pictured from left: President of the Archdiocesan Catholic Church Men’s Association (ACCMA) Edwin Thompson, Catholic Archbishop of Nassau the Most Rev. Patrick Pinder, Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin Dames, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of National Security Carl Smith, and Commissioner of Corrections Patrick Wright, on September 21, 2017, at the official launch of ACCMA Ministry of H.O.P.E. (Helping Our People Excel), at the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services Remand Center Housing Unit.  (BIS Photo/Eric Rose)

 

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