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Apr 22, 2002

U.S. prison chaplain shares ideas on reform

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The only connection our next news item has with the sea is that the man we interviewed happened to arrive this morning on a cruise ship. George Castillo, now retired, was only the second black Chaplain appointed to the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons. After thirty years working with the most hardened criminals Castillo shared his ideas on prison reform.

George Castillo, Retired Prison Chaplain

“By prison reform, I mean we need to have meaningful rehabilitation programmes. Meaningful rehabilitation programmes consist of the following: number one, let us help that incarcerated person finish school, probably standard six, hopefully it would be high school. After that is completed, he is taught a marketable skill, a marketable skill like automobile repair, plumbing, electrician, carpentry, painting et cetera. Then, he’s also required to take a course in morals and values. Our morals and values are drying up, we have to revive them. Then, we have to teach them parenting skills.”

Ann-Marie Williams

“What do you say to a government who will look at you straight in the eye and say, those things cost money, we don’t have the money?”

George Castillo

“We can’t afford not to have the money. You see, sometimes we forget that these folks are going to walk our streets again. They are coming back out, so we ask the government, do we want better people coming out of our institution or worse people?”

Castillo, a Dangriga native, has lived in the states for fifty years. He worked in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, North West Florida Prison and a facility in Ashland, Kentucky. Castillo says he plans to visit Hattieville Prison when he returns for a longer stay in November.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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