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Prison Inmates Go To Church

Four inmates, who occupy the front pew of the church listen attentively to the sermon.

The Department of Correction and Rehabilitation recently embarked on an innovative initiative, that of to visit a local church every quarter to foster positive relationships between the community and the department.

The first visit, held on Sunday, March 12, was at the New Testament Church, Orea Alley in Grand Turk. Newly-appointed Superintendent Michael Woodbine, along with members of his Senior Management Team, Officers, and Inmates were in attendance.

The Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, in a news release, stated that it recognized the importance of building social capital for those in prison and helping them build a sense of pride in their local communities, adding that it would be embarking on additional community engagement projects to help inmates recognize their value and what they can offer back to our communities.

Inmates and members of the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation shared a photo with pastor of the New Testament Church, Orea Alley in Grand Turk.

In his address to the congregation, Superintendent Woodbine expressed his intentions for the future which include closer collaboration with the community to provide support, hope, and successful reintegration into society of inmates after release. During the service, produce from the farm along with other food items were presented for distribution to the less fortunate.

Bishop Austraham Hamilton, in his response, welcomed the initiative and acknowledged the need for community support. He also emphasized the positive influence of Prison Chaplain Rev. Dennis Simmons and his efforts to impart God’s word to the inmates.

Bishop Hamilton, said he was happy that the Department of Corrections saw it fit to consider his congregation for the donation, and charged his congregation to not take the gesture lightly.

“Thank God for them for thinking about us while they are there. Don’t take this lightly brethren, this is an act of God. We did not ask for it. This is the step in the right direction, you being here this morning is a blessing”.

He admonished the inmates to take comfort in God’s word and be reminded that God has them in mind.

The Department of Correction and Rehabilitation said it would continue in its effort to provide rehabilitative opportunities for the inmates geared towards trust, hope, and reintegration.



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