Philipsburg – The Point Blanche Prison and House of Detention held its End of Term Ceremony for its piloted Prison Education Program (PEP) on Saturday, December 17th, 2022. Prison Director Mr. Steven Carty welcomed the Honorable Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson and her support staff, the Creative Leadership and Innovation Management Bureau (CLIMB) foundation instructors, Point Blanche Prison and House of Detention staff, inmates, and family and friends of the inmates. Mr. Carty congratulated the inmates for their progress and encouraged them to continue learning. He extended his gratitude to the CLIMB foundation for providing an inclusive education program that considered the needs of each inmate with the desire to further their education.
“One basic goal at the Point Blanche Prison is to create opportunities for success. We are all products of our village’s success plan. At this institution, we are a village. We don’t pick and choose what areas we are going to give support to. These graduates are a part of our village, and we are wholeheartedly cheering, applauding, and encouraging after supporting them through to the completion of the GED program. This success was theirs to claim. They owed it to themselves, and we are honored to stand with them—then, and now,” Prison Director Mr. Carty stated as he addressed the graduating inmates.
“Although you haven’t physically been present here with us you are still a part of this journey because without your support the Prison Education Program would have never commenced. I wholeheartedly thank you and express my gratitude. I am overwhelmed with pride and thankful for your recognition because you realized that we needed a change in our lives and you didn’t want us to step back out into society the same way we came in. Even though this happened after we were incarcerated, it has kept us engaged in significant work that has the goal of helping others to see that there is change and that no matter where we are we all need a change mentally. Thank you for your helping hand, for your warm and tender heart, and for the opportunity of a brand new start. Our future brightens with each program your implement, each smile you lengthen and each goal you help us achieve,” stated one of the inmates to Minister Richardson on behalf of all inmates during the ceremony.
CLIMB foundations’ instructors Yadira Boston and Delroy Pierre, expressed at the ceremony that they understand the importance of identifying the level of each inmate as the starting point of effective instruction. At the start of the PEP, the CLIMB foundation assessed the inmates who enrolled. The assessments indicated that many inmates struggled with reading- as reading levels ranged from kindergarten to primary grade levels. For the few inmates beyond a primary grade reading level, students’ levels varied from Pre-GED to GED in different subject areas when assessed for the GED program. Once the assessments were completed, all inmates enrolled in the program received individualized learning plans. This allowed the inmates to work at their level and pace through a guided differentiated instructional program.