A fresh approach to rehabilitation

It is within the highly overburdened Ugandan prison system that Jina – a senior integration and rehabilitation officer – can implement and witness the impact of the Wise Choices for Life Program.

Placing the welfare of staff and inmates at the forefront of her role, Jina employs the critical thinking skills imparted to her to promote positive change within this community.

“It starts with me” she declares. This is the critical factor in encouraging rehabilitation – it takes one to motivate change in others.

Jina contends that those who have gone to prison and undertaken the WCFL program represent a lower recidivism rate. The dedication of Jina and her colleagues – as well as the outline provided by the WCFL program – encourages inmates to reflect and learn from their previous actions.

Through the program, inmates are given the opportunity to re-evaluate their past actions – as well as develop new approaches to emotionally triggering circumstances. These freshly developed skills often contribute to the lowered reoffending rate.

Committing to rehabilitation, both Jina and WCFL encourage former inmates to develop a different, reformed approach to life with their newfound freedoms. Many establish ‘churches, businesses, chapati making, and small food kiosks.’

Jina emphasises that WCFL training is desperately needed in other prisons so more people can experience the benefits.