GIS - 7 June 2017: It is important to ensure that the prison plays a positive role in the lives of detainees so as to ensure that they are able to reintegrate society after their release, said the President of the Republic, Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, this morning on the occasion of the celebration of Mother’s Day at the Women Prison in Beau Bassin.
She pointed out that detainees should take advantage of the different courses that are offered in prison and acquire skills and pursue further studies. In line with the rehabilitation programme of the Prison Service, several activities and courses are organised for the benefit of detainees. They include: beauty care, pastry, handicraft, vocational courses, sports, painting, and yoga.
For his part, the Commissioner of Prisons, Mr Vinod Appadoo, underlined that Mothers’ Day is an important day for parents and children. This celebration is an opportunity for incarcerated women and their children to celebrate with a worship service and a family meal together. It is a special time that helps keep families connected at a time when separation can be particularly difficult, he stated.
To that end, several changes have been brought at the Women Prison in a bid to enhance conditions of women detainees. Hence provision has been made for a Mother & Baby Unit and a Self-Care Unit at the Women Prison. All babies stay with their mothers in the Mother & Baby Unit within a conducive environment. Pregnant women and nursing mothers who are in prison are also provided with special facilities, said Mr Appadoo.
The Commissioner of Prisons recalled that the President of the Republic of Mauritius visited the Open Prison for Women on 28 December 2016. In the context of the 25th anniversary of Mauritius to the accession of Republic and 49th anniversary of independence on 12thMarch 2017, the President of the Republic, acting in accordance with the advice of the Commission on the Prerogative on Mercy, granted a special remission to all convicted detainees. Those detainees who were in prison for the first time benefitted two months’ remission whereas those who were in prison for more than one time benefitted only one month, he added.
The Women Prison has a population of around 100 detainees including 32 remand detainees and 31 foreigners. Three babies at the Women Prison stay with their mothers in the Mother & Baby Unit within a conducive environment.
It also comprises a residential area consisting of dormitories and cells, two association yards-one for remand and one for convicted, aSegregation and Protection Unit, an area for prayers and worship, a Tailoring workshop, a Garment Making workshop holding MITD courses, and administrative offices.