The Bordelais Correctional Facility was originally intended to be a rehabilitation center for offenders. However, since its inception, the facility has operated more as a prison than a rehab center. Bordelais’ Assistant Director of Administration, Patrick Arlain, stood before the Criminal High Court on Tuesday December 21 to present the first jail report since Hilary Herman was returned to the helm as prison director.
In speaking about the rehabilitation efforts of the facility, Arlian revealed Bordelais has been designated an Examination Center by the Ministry of Education. As such, the facility liaises directly with the Caribbean Examination Council.
Further, Arlian reported inmates are registered for the CXC January and June 2011 examinations; six inmates will write the January English general paper while thirteen inmates are scheduled to sit the CXC New Secondary Level Programme (CCSLC) exam in Social Studies (11 inmates), Math (12 inmates) and English (11 inmates).
Meanwhile eighteen inmates are scheduled to write the CXC general examinations in English (7), Math (7), Social Studies (9), Principles of Business (6) and Information Technology (5).
Additionally, five inmates are enrolled in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CESEC) programme where they will be writing the CXC examination for Agriculture in 2012. The subjects covered are crop production activities including the production of vegetables, root crops and tree crops.
One of the new projects Bordelais has implemented is a pilot phase of the Caribbean Youth Empowerment Project (CYEP) where the goal of the project is to increase opportunities for St Lucia’s vulnerable youth. There are seven inmates between the ages of seventeen to twenty five registered in this project. The purpose of CYEP is to train 252 youth in the aforementioned age range in hospitality, tourism, construction, office management and mechanics. The scheme promises at least 40 percent of those trained will be given job placements. Participants are referred to this program by a justice agency such as Bordelais, the Boys Training Center, the Upton Gardens Girls Center or the courts.
Apart from the academic pursuits, Bordelais prides itself on its agricultural ventures. Arlain reported Hurricane Tomas did hinder the progress of the farm but efforts are being made to recuperate. Inmates are engaged in the management of a ten sow unit as well as a 3,000 broiler pen. To date, two batches of birds have been reared but 98 percent of the second batch was destroyed by Hurricane Tomas.
In the area of sewing, currently twelve inmates are enrolled in the Garment Construction course at the National Enrichment and Learning Programme (NELP). As part of the practical sessions, inmates are engaged in the production of inmate uniforms and bedroom linen for use at the facility.
The final programme is the carpentry program which includes the expansion of the piggery, the construction of a bio-gas facility, the renovation of the abattoir and remedial works on the chicken coop which was damaged during Hurricane Tomas.