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NCJ Number: 208268 Find in a Library
Title: From Despair to Renewal: Rebuilding Belize Central Prison
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:66  Issue:7  Dated:December 2004  Pages:68-71
Author(s): John C. Woods
Date Published: December 2004
Page Count: 4
Type: Program Description (Model)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the rehabilitation and reform of the Belize Central Prison since 2002.
Abstract: Belize, a former British Colony the size of Massachusetts, has long been plagued by deplorable prison conditions that saw as many as 12 inmates crowded into 1 small cell, forced to sleep on cold, wet floors. In 1993, inmates were relocated to a newly constructed prison facility that was meant to address the deplorable prison conditions. However, the new prison offered no relief as funding problems caused corners to be cut and the construction was barely finished. In 2002, the government of Belize turned management of the facility over to a private nonprofit organization called the Kolbe Foundation. Kolbe made rehabilitative changes that resulted in secure and comfortable inmates who are housed in an open prison system that even boasts a prison radio station. Inmate treatment and rehabilitation was introduced and a clinic, library, conference room, and classrooms were added to the prison construction. Education is a central component of prison life for minimum-risk inmates, who now study English and arithmetic, and the work program teaches inmates job skills through on-the-job training opportunities throughout the prison. While the Kolbe Foundation’s approach to prison reform was unorthodox, the results have been dramatically positive.
Main Term(s): Jail reform
Index Term(s): Prison conditions; Prison management; Rehabilitation
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