15 inmates of the Kolbe Foundation came out of their cells on Friday to assist the Belmopan Police Formation in cleaning the Rivera Area, which is notorious for the high level of theft.
It is a preventative initiative that came into full effect, when the Officer Commanding Belmopan Police came in to office earlier this year.
The area chosen for this project is an area known to be frequented by residence of Belmopan, who often go swimming in the nearby creek.
Deputy Commanding Officer of the Belmopan Police Station, Stephanie Grinage, said it is as much a programme for residents of Belmopan as it is for the 15 inmates.
“We had seen some robberies and thefts from motor vehicles in this area, the Rivera Area. So we have addressed it, The OC Belmopan, Officer Commanding, had addressed the issue, and we have partnered with Kolbe Foundation in cleaning out the area.
We have 15 inmates out here today, assisting the Police Department with cleaning up the area.
It’s a way to let them expend their energy, and come out and assist the community. It’s also a form of rehabilitation. Instead of them sitting in Prison, not doing anything, it helps them.”
Some of the inmates working on Thursday have been in prison for 10 to 20 years, others for even longer. And while some might find it a bit intimidating to be around 15 inmates all wielding sharpened machetes, according to Superintendent Gillett the security risks of having those inmates out are, very minimal, if at all existent. These inmates, he told us, pride themselves in these little outings and would not risk jeopardising any chance of coming back out again.
“The Prison provided their security, but in addition we provide Police Security, from the supervisory level right down.
I’m assured by the Prison administration that the guys who are being sent were prisoners who were trustees. they have been doing this type of work in other areas, not necessarily for the Police, but in other areas within the Prison compound.
So these are trustees, and the exercise went without any incident.”