Commissioner of Prisons (Ag), Deopersad Ramoutar delivered the feature address at the grand opening ceremony of the Hope House, Trinidad, held on Saturday, July 16, at the facility, located at Cunapo Southern Main Road, Sangre Grande.
According to a press release from the T&T Prison Service, Hope House is an initiative of the US-based organization, Ladies of Hope Ministries, whose mission is to aid disenfranchised and marginalized women transition back into society, through spiritual empowerment, education, entrepreneurship and advocacy.
It was founded in 2017 and is dedicated to providing a safe environment, support, mentorship and guidance for formerly incarcerated women to thrive, through collaboration with community-based organizations, business leaders and health service providers.
During his address, Commissioner Ramoutar stressed the dire need to “break the vicious cycle” of incarceration and reunite individuals with their families and communities. In emphasizing the significance that initiatives such as Hope House manifested for the women, Commissioner Ramoutar highlighted the various roles of women as nurturers, as well as the hardships faced with little or no resources post-incarceration.
He also commended the Ladies of Hope Ministries for affording the Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service the opportunity to collaborate in the noble initiative, indicating that it diminished vulnerability and encouraged meaningfulness, whilst creating a safety net.
Ramoutar also discussed the role of the Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service in preparing incarcerated persons for life after prison and gave his commitment to ensuring that all opportunities are available to them.
Among the guests present at the ceremony were Dr. Topeka K. Sam, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Ladies of Hope Ministries INC., Mssrs. Sherwin Bruce and Carlos Corraspe, Deputy Commissioners of Prisons (Ag), Mr. Eric Dillon, Assistant Chief Prisons Welfare Officer, other members of the Prison Service and members of the Ladies Of Hope Ministries team.
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