ZANZIBAR Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Simai Mohammed Said has unveiled plans to introduce library services at Zanzibar Kilimani Prison in an effort to empower and turn the incarcerated and detained into good citizens.
The minister visited the correctional facility in Urban Unguja at the weekend to see how the library could be constructed.
“It is very important that we provide reading materials in our correctional facilities, so that the inmates who would be interested in learning and accessing information could live their dreams while in prison,” said Mr Said.
Minister Said added that education is a proven strategy for reducing criminal recidivism and improving economic opportunities for individuals serving prison sentences, hence the government was keen to improve their access to education.
“Education is among the strongest remedies for the endemic problem of criminal recidivism,” said the minister.
Psychologists agree that inmates and ex-offenders who can find ways to receive an education and earn a degree may dramatically improve their future prospects.
While at the facility, the minister held talks with prisons officers and inmates.
He counseled the inmates to be good and productive citizens once they complete their terms.
He said the government through his ministry will construct a library and provide them with materials, as well as construct a computer room with the view of helping the inmates to learn and educate themselves on a number of social and economic issues.
The minister said the government was keen on creating a good environment for inmates, and he pledged to provide them with a television set and decoder.
The Commissioner for Prisons, Khamis Bakari Khamis thanked the minister for coming up with the plan to build a library at the Kilimani Correctional facility, saying it will help in teaching the inmates.
Commissioner Khamis asked the minister to urge other leaders to contemplate supporting freed inmates with capitals so that they can engage in various economic activities.