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Prisons Service Using Cricket for Rehabilitation

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THE Trinidad and Tobago Prisons Service has teamed up with the local cricket board, and the umpires and scorers’ union for an historic initiative which is aimed at greatly assisting in the rehabilitative efforts of inmates. On Monday, officials of the three bodies officially launched an unique Inmate Cricket Development Program for “clients” of the […]

THE Trinidad and Tobago Prisons Service has teamed up with the local cricket board, and the umpires and scorers’ union for an historic initiative which is aimed at greatly assisting in the rehabilitative efforts of inmates.

On Monday, officials of the three bodies officially launched an unique Inmate Cricket Development Program for “clients” of the Prisons Service, at the Maximum Security Prison Gymnasium in Arouca.

This event heralded a renewed partnership between the T&T Prisons Service, the T&T   Cricket Board, the T&T Umpires and Scorers’ Council, and the T&T Prisons Service cricket team.

This initiative provides the opportunity for quality training in coaching and umpiring techniques for both inmates and officers. Prisons Officers who are expected to take a leading role had participated in a two-day workshop held at the Prisons Sports Club on the May 22 and 24 as a precursor for the newly launched program.

The latest effort is directly linked to the rehabilitative thrusts of the T&T Prisons Service as it seeks to empower inmates with marketable skills, and the opportunities for employment when they are released.

Additionally, the skills acquired would be initially honed through the Interstation Cricket Competition of the Prisons Service, exclusively for inmates.

Among those attending the function were Dudnath Ramkessoon, Cricket Operations Officer of the T&TCB; Parasram Singh, president of the T&T Umpires and Scorers’ Union; Shaheed Allaham, vice-president of the T&TSCU; Elite ICC umpire Joel Wilson, and his top local colleague Danesh Ramdanie.

Also present was Deputy Commissioner of Prisons (Administration) Dennis Pulchan who wholeheartedly endorsed the development initiative.

“The sport of cricket will go a long way in re-tooling inmates in their focus in life, just as one needs to focus in order to win at cricket. Similarly, if this focus is applied to their lives, it would be of great benefit to them, their families and their communities,” said DCP Pulchan.

Ramkessoon, who represented the T&T Cricket Board, commended the Trinidad and Tobago Prisons Service for the willingness to inculcate cricket into their rehabilitative process of inmates.

“This is an opportunity for inmates to get involved in the game of cricket which can provide an income for them for the rest of their lives. This is a great programme facilitated by the Cricket Board, Umpires and Scorers’ Union and the Prisons Service,” said Ramkessoon, a former national senior team, and West Indies Youth captain.

Umpires and Scorers’ Union head Singh expressed his appreciation to Commissioner of Prisons Gerard Wilson for his enthusiastic embrace of the idea first discussed with him in a conversation at another function.

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