In an effort to empower and turn imprisoned offenders into good citizens, Zanzibar Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Simai Mohammed Said has revealed plans to introduce library services at Zanzibar Kilimani Prison.
Over the weekend, the minister visited the correctional facility in Urban Unguja for an evaluation of 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 explained that education is a proven strategy for reducing criminals lapsing back into crime and opening economic opportunities for persons serving prison sentences, hence the government’s keen interest 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 prisoners 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 counselled the inmates to be good and productive citizens once they complete their terms.
He said the government through his ministry will build a library and provide them with materials, as well as construct an IT hall with the view of assisting the inmates to learn and educate themselves on a number of socio-economic issues.
The Commissioner for Prisons, Khamis Bakari Khamis acknowledged 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.