Deputy Speaker Hon. Neville Smith is promoting literacy among inmates of Her Majesty’s Prison. The legislator said that this outreach to persons at the Prison aligns with two areas that he planned to tackle during his tenure.

The Deputy Speaker who visited the Territory’s prison at Balsam Ghut on 1 October announced that the promotion of literacy is a subject that he will continue to champion: “As part of a strategy to enhance literacy and to help improve the lives of individuals throughout the Territory, I have made an investment to inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison in the Virgin Islands,” Hon. Smith stated.

The Deputy Speaker described his visit and interaction with the inmates as fruitful. In fact, it was noted that while there Hon. Smith made presentations aimed at fostering literacy interest among the inmates.

He mentioned the presentation stating that: “A total of 15 inmates were awarded $100.00 each for participating in the programme’s recently held ‘Literacy Evening’ event. The funds were donated to each individual as a means of financial support towards their literary journey.”

“In my presentation I told the inmates that I envision a Territory that thrives on literacy. And this literacy project is an outlet devoted to providing a voice and a platform for incarcerated individuals, and my hope is to see it grow into something big,” the Deputy Speaker added.

It was further explained that the visit which also included Deputy Premier, Hon. Vincent Wheatley served to make good on a promise and to present a check in the amount of $1,500.00 to Superintendent Verne Garde on behalf of inmates who are a part of the prison’s Restorative Justice Programme.

Hon. Wheatley said: “The Restoration Justice Programme is high on government’s agenda in relation to its responsibilities to Her Majesty’s Prison and the mandate for a rehabilitation programme. Your Government will continue to address these matters in an endeavour to help fix issues facing the people of the Virgin Islands.”