Good reports are coming out of the rehabilitation centre for young offenders – Eagle House – but officials say it needs more support from parents.
‘Parents need to play their role to ensure the success of their children,’ said Eagle House Director Claira Range.
‘The programme is very good. Every day is different and the boys are taking to it very well but what we really do need parents support.’
She said it was rough going in the beginning but progress is now being made.
‘Residents are not only being motivated to proper moral and ethical behaviour, given educational and vocational training, but are also developing skills for the work field.
‘Once an offender goes to prison, it’s hard for them to get jobs. That is what I would like to change,’ said Mrs Range.
‘I would like to give them a chance that when they leave Eagle House, jobs would be in place for them.’
‘I would also like to start up an after care programme, which would follow up on residents progress after they leave Eagle House,’ she said.
Mrs Range also said the churches were doing an excellent job helping out.
Programmes Manager Marvin Simpson said, ‘What we were hoping to do this year for our first anniversary is to get parents more involved. There are plans to have a week of activities where parents are invited to the residence to speak with leaders, have counselling sessions, receive reports on resident’s progress and view hands-on projects residents were working on.
Nickola McCoy, an outreach facilitator for the National Gallery, visits the centre every Thursday to teach residents art, painting and sculpture, a programme called ‘Arts Within’.
In-house resident Jason Hydes said he enjoyed the programmes at the centre. ‘Working with paints produces something nice. While I am painting it takes my mind away from the institution.’
Another new programme just started at Eagle House is a leather workshop. Students are making leather handbags, wallets, shoes, belts, slippers, etc, under the keen leadership of teacher Lindsay Wilson.
There are 16 on the operations staff at Eagle House, nine offenders and one juvenile.
Eagle House is at the back of the adult Northward Prison and is separated from the adult facility by a 14-foot concrete wall, with its own secured double air-lock gate.
The facility opened last year and can house 36 offenders between the ages of 14 to 20.