Half Way house breaks ground in TCI
By Todeline Defralien, TCSun, October 28, 20016
As a joint effort between the Drug Prevention Foundation and the Turks and Caicos Islands Government, a half-way house, broke ground in the island of Providenciales last week Friday October 21th, 2016 on South Dock Road.
Many persons were present to witness this historic occasion, including Premier Dr. Rufus Ewing, President of the Premier’s Cup Committee Mark Fulford, Leader of the Opposition Sharlene Cartwright- Robinson and Minister of Tourism, Porsha Stubbs-Smith.
This project is designed to assist in the re-integration of drug offenders placed on parole by the courts and to serve as an aftercare program for substance abuse clients who have completed inpatient services but need additional support.
It is also intended that this facility will serve as a custodial program for alternative sentencing of first time non-violent drug offenders. According to the president of the Drug Prevention Foundation, Dierin Longmire, this program will increase the participant’s ability to function in a socially acceptable manner and reduce their reliance on criminal behaviour as well as drugs/ alcohol and ultimately make the community at large a safer place.
Other expected benefits of the project include: Reduction in recidivism among drug offenders, Reduction in numbers of drug offenders, reduction in drug related crimes, reduction in the level of poverty associated with loss of income resources to substance abuse and maintenance of treatment gains by patients sent abroad for inpatient rehabilitation. The Architect for this project is Charles Garland.
Longmire said, “This groundbreaking is a milestone in the first step in the rehabilitation of persons impacted by drugs and alcohol abuse into productive citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands. As we all know addiction is a disease and consequences are felt around the world. We as a community need to recognise its signs and reach out to assist those that are suffering from all of these diseases. The assistance, presence and opportunity to start resolving some of these issues it surface from addiction. If we’re to assess the overcrowding of our correctional facilities we would immediately observe our failure to address these issues in a meaningful way.”
She added: “This halfway house will serve as both a pre-release and a pre-sentence opportunity for those struggling to find a new way a life. It will offer an alternative sentencing program which will require them to reside in the facility and will offer a drug and alcohol curriculum, a twelve step program, urinalysis, counseling and a reintroduction back into society. It is our desire to host as many twenty-five persons at a time. Here they will coach on how to readapt into society as productive citizens. It’s not our goal to create a system of welfarisum.”
These individuals will not be directly receiving any funds; this approach is to provide assistance through empowerment of both resident and citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Meanwhile Premier Hon. Dr. Rufus Ewing said, “This is a project that was in the making for some time. It’s been a long time dream of Dierin and many others in our society and those in the Drug Prevention Foundation. As the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands we would like to extend our thanks to the Drug Prevention Foundation for conceptualizing this project and working and partnering with the Government to bring this project to fruition.”
There were a number of events held throughout the past year to try and raise funds for this project such as Masquerade Ball, The Premiers Cup etc.
“It seems like now we have enough funding and with the Government support in providing the lease of this land that we are now standing on, to allow this facility to be built to be erected. I say thanks and praises to the almighty God for his goodness and mercies and thank all of you for your hard work and dedication for such a worthy cause. I know that we can go this far in building the facility but the operation of the facility I know would also come with its challenges and I would like to commit as a Government we will be there as well to assist in any way, shape and form in assisting with the operational management in providing the various funding or assistance to assist in operation of the facility and may this project be one of those life changing projects in these beautiful islands,” Ewing said.
The halfway house is to be completed for sometime next year.