DEPUTY Commissioner of Prisons (DCOP) Mookish Pulliah has enthusiastically welcomed the interest shown by the TT Cricket Board (TTCB) in using cricket to drive rehabilitation initiatives among inmates.
According to a TTCB media release, “Mr Pulliah recently received on behalf of the TT Prisons Service a timely gift of cricket equipment from the TTCB’s president Azim Bassarath and gave the confident assurance that it will go a very long way in helping the incarcerated.”
Also present at the recent presentation of the gear at the National Cricket Centre, Couva was Imtiaz Ali, the Prisons Service Muslim chaplain who also expressed his appreciation of the renewed relationship between the national sports organisation and the Prisons Service.
TTCB president Bassarath recalled the successful programme, conducted in conjunction with the Umpires Council, which trained several officers and inmates in the laws of the game, and said that the gift of the cricket equipment will further cement the collaborative effort.
Bassarath said that he was pleased with the interest shown in the umpiring course as it was a prelude to the participants being fully re-integrated into society upon their release, and opened up great opportunities to pursue a career in the game.
Pulliah was in total agreement with the significant impact that cricket can have in the reformation of inmates into a productive life on their release and said it was a major part of a multi-pronged effort by the Prisons Service.
The DCOP highlighted the efforts to teach life-skills and offer training and certification in plumbing, masonry, tiling, and agriculture which have so far produced excellent results which he said contributes to the upkeep of the inmates.
He said crops of pumpkin and watermelon help to greatly supplement the diet of the guests of the state and also are sold to officers on a market day on Fridays, with the income generated going towards the maintenance of farming equipment.
Pulliah was also proud of the excellent record of the Prisons Service during the current covid19 pandemic as no prisoner has contracted the virus, especially so in one of the most susceptible environments.