Minister On Prison Farm’s ‘Giving Back Program’

February 21, 2013

Public Safety Minister Michael Dunkley held a press conference today [Feb 21] to highlight the Prison Farm’s ‘Giving Back to the Community Program,’ which involves inmates providing manpower for the completion of general labour.

Minister Dunkley said, “We are here today to highlight the significant contribution the Bermuda Department of Corrections has made to the local community.

“By carrying out various community projects in schools – including the Opportunity Workshop, charitable organizations, and other government departments, the Prison Farm Facility’s ‘Giving Back to the Community Program’ has provided numerous public and private organizations additional manpower for the completion of general labour.

Pictured below: Minister Dunkley [centre], Officer Arthur West, Acting Chief Officer Reginald Gomes, Commissioner of Corrections Lt. Col. Edward Lamb, Keeona Balboda Opportunity Workshop administrator, Acting Principal Officer Sandra Gomes and Officer Shannon DeRoza.


“In 2012, this program oversaw a total of nineteen projects completed by the Prison Farm inmates. Projects completed include Fort St. Catherine Beach cleanup; Cup Match ground preparation and clean up at Somerset Cricket Club; painting and refurbishing at the Bermuda College; and maintenance work at Lorraine Rest Home.

“Here at the Opportunity Workshop, a crew of inmates from the Farm Facility provided assistance with landscaping, clean-up and general maintenance.

“A letter of thanks from Ms. Belboda speaks to the merits of this programme. Ms. Belboda writes that while the men were onsite to complete a variety of landscaping and maintenance tasks she never heard them grumble or complain.

“The men had great attitudes and graciously did what was asked of them. When the staff of Opportunity Workshop had a clean-up day, the crew went above and beyond in assisting staff and clients by just pitching in without being asked.

“Truly, many hands make light work as the clean-up project, which was supposed to take all morning, was completed in just a few short hours. These projects help our community organisations redistribute funds allocated for maintenance to other important initiatives. In addition, this work allows the men who participate an opportunity to develop skills that will aid them on their reintegration into the community and the work force.

Minister Dunkley continued, “In observing some of the work completed here and at other locations, I saw results that demonstrated good skills in landscaping, painting and maintenance, I also noted a general good work ethic.

“Statistics show that persons released from prison who have skills that make them employable and able to maintain employment are less likely to reoffend.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Bermuda Department of Corrections is to be congratulated in developing the ‘Farm Facility Giving Back to the Community Program’ and keeping to their mission “To Empower inmates to be Responsible and Productive Citizens.”

“This program shows one way that our Corrections Officers are helping to return inmates to the community as upstanding citizens who understand the importance of an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.

“The commitment is to continue to build on the success of this program with greater participation and more community work,” the Minister concluded.

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Comments (16)

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  1. Bobmarlin says:

    Keep up the good work Minister Dunkley!

    • khari says:

      Not dunkley mate, PLP. Pat Dunkley on the back when we see him enhance the program by working with W&E and A&F, to have other prisoners participate in road works. tree prunings, etc.

      They should receive as much pay as othe similar labor, like Conscripted Regiment soldiers lol

  2. LaVerne Furbert says:

    The Bermuda public can be assured that there will be many, many more press conferences held by Minister Dunkley. While his leader, Craig Cannonier, shies away from the media, Minister Dunkley loves the media and loves to see himself on the small screen.

    • O.B. says:

      Lol just can’t handle a loss well.

    • O.B. says:

      Just don’t even know where to start with that comment. This was Dunkley’s ministry, the PLP had press conferences for everything too, etc etc. Time to get over it and move on now.

    • Incognito says:

      ^ bitter it’s MD up there and not one of her plp mates. Get a life sweatheart.

      Well done to the prisoners who participated and did so with enthusiasm. They should be proud of themselves.

    • Wouldn’t it be far better to give credit where credit is due,those that are at the prison farm and are allowed to come out on work release, under the supervision of the prison staff need to be commended for the work they do.

      As I am quite familiar with the grounds that is this photo up,I would rather thank those responsible for such a job well done and I think the fact that Mr. Dunkley is the minister that the prisons come under,it is only appropriate that he be there.

      There are those that choose to nit pick at everything negative and even put a negative twist to something possitive,it is no wonder this country is in the state it is to the inmates and the prison staff who have spent weeks on this project and were very pleasent to both the staff and clients of this facility.i am sure your efforts are not in vain and very much appreciated.

      Thank You Bernews for coninuing to show th epossitive side of whats happening in and around our community,maybe Ms laverne Furbert can contribute something positive about Nahki for his accomplishments or the youth that sang on city hall steps.

      It is really heart wrenching when some of our seniors in this community can only speak loud about the negatives they see,it’s almost like they are out of place when something good actually happens.they are lost for words and cant function unless it is something drastic,so with all due respect it may be a good time to sit and use the energy to help Dr Ewart Brown write his book.

    • Family Man says:

      I wish the BIU would have a press conference to update the members on where their dues have gone. What say you Ms. Furbert? Where have those funds gone?

  3. hmmm says:

    I am all for people being rehabilitated ,that being said I am not in support of violent offenders being released especially against women. What was the man in the background arrested for? think about it. not a good idea in my opinion.

    @ Laverne Furbert at least Mr. Dunkley is speaking up and showing he is concerned about the community he can easily quit tomorrow and be at peace.
    I and many are grateful for his concern in the community.

  4. M.P. MOUNTBATTEN JP says:

    I’m all for the giving back program … Give back the jewelery , money and other property that was stolen . Then you could give back the to the country the funds it cost to house and feed your sorry butts . Now when you thieves take it upon yourself to break into peoples homes , remember , That sense of security , once it’s gone could never be replaced , especially after you rifle through a females personal and intimate apparel .

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      I’m for giving back too. I want that $2b that went missing under the PLP back. I want to see everyone responsible for making that money disappear in prison garb out there giving back to the people they took it from. I want to see THEM out there picking up roadside trash, painting Government buildings, cleaning up whatever needs cleaning up.

      • swing voter says:

        Why don’t you also ask all those rich white families to give back to the black slaves they had working for them? Oh sorry forgot it’s the past, statue of limitation doesn’t go back that far.

        • Triangle Drifter says:

          Great idea. Who you going to take it from. Who you going to give it too? All of those people are DEAD & dead a long long time ago.

          By your view the theft that happened during the last PLP Government is just fine and dandy. Were you on the F&F plan?

  5. a young bie says:

    Not all criminals are on the inside.

  6. That's me says:

    Laverne get a life!

  7. Seriously speaking says:

    So I too applaud this initiative……but please make me understand how someone who has taken the life of another can be in this program. I’m not saying people don’t deserve second chances but I do think they should be screened and chosen accordingly.