Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 11, 2017 (SKNIS): The Ministry of National Security staged a graduation for 30 residents of Her Majesty's Prison (HMP) in St. Kitts, who have successfully completed Project Stop 'n' Think.
Family members, friends and well-wishers cheered on the young men as they took another step towards becoming a positive force as part of their rehabilitation. The ceremony was held at the Basseterre Seventh Day Adventist Church on Saturday, April 08, 2017.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Osmond Petty, encouraged the young men to live the message that they learned over the past 10 weeks.
"Always stop and think before you proceed to engage in criminal activities, violent acts, revenge activities, taking drugs, becoming a member of a violent gang or using a gun," Mr. Petty urged, noting that the inmates would have made mistakes once or twice, but it was time to break the cycle of destructive activities that may have caused them to be imprisoned in the first place.
"Always stop and think - not sometimes - but always stop and think of the consequences, the hurt and trauma these acts cause to you, to your parents, to your brothers and sisters, and other family members, to your friends, and generally to the country and the Federation," he continued.
Project Stop 'n' Think was designed by international Skills Consultant and Crime Reduction Specialist, Dr. Neals Chitan. Dr. Chitan has spent the last three months working with public and private sector officials and representatives of civil society on a crime reduction framework built around his Enforcement, Diagnosis, Education and Rehabilitation (EDER) Approach. He has also been working with students, and this work culminated in an anti-crime march and rally in St. Kitts on April 04, and in Nevis on April 06. Thousands of students took part.
Permanent Secretary Petty added that Dr. Chitan has equipped the men, women, boys and girls, who he worked with in St. Kitts and Nevis over the past three months, with positive strategies and messages that will help them to navigate the challenges in life as they pursue their dreams and aspirations.
Mr. Petty added that the messages for the inmates were tailored specifically to help them avoid recidivism, which refers to R in EDER. The Permanent Secretary encouraged the 30 men who have been trained to share what they learnt with whomever they come into contact with and to be role models for Project Stop 'n' Think.