Deputy Prisons Commissioner tells inmates:As a man thinketh so is he
THE voices of inmates filled the Port of Spain Prison's courtyard on Friday morning as they joined members of the Spiritual Shouter Baptist community in joyful songs of praise during the Shouter Baptist Liberation celebration.
Some prisoners passionately clapped, danced, drummed or bowed their heads in silence in response to the hymns. Others shouted, "Gaza!" as they lifted their hands in worship.
In a brief greeting, Deputy Commissioner of Prisons Carlos Corraspe reminded the prisoners, “As a man thinketh so is he” – a quote paraphrased from Proverbs chapter 23:7.
He encouraged them to take a page from the resistance and perseverance of African slaves and Spiritual Baptists who fought for freedom and the right to freely exercise their faith.
“They had endured, which is why we could have such a celebration. That’s why we are here today. My question to you, gentlemen, is, ‘Are we rewarding that effort in the way that we should? Do our choices reflect our understanding they have suffered on our behalf and persevered?'
“I urge you today that if you are here, then hear. I pray to almighty God that a light will go off in your head, and when that happens, you will see that there are options and choices, and that you will start today to make the right choices.
“Those choices will lead to good behaviour, and when that happens it will put a smile on your face, your family’s face, and then society’s face. That’s what we are trying to achieve...Do your adversity justice.”
He welcomed them to take advantage of the Programme and Industry department of the prison service.
Through this department inmates have access to technical vocational skills, academic, sporting, religions and basic life skills programmes
Some of the programmes are facilities by trained prison officers and the rest are done using external facilitators from the National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS) Library and the Youth Training and Employment Partnership Programme (YTEPP) among others.
Corraspe further told the inmates, “We can only be here if you want us to be here, which is to say that you invite us to engage in programmes, as you are this morning, to bring about change in your thinking, because as a man thinketh, so is he.
"And if you can start to change your thinking, then you are well on your way to changing your circumstancing. I promise you once you change your thinking, the circumstances, though they lag behind, will quickly follow.
"Our ancestors taught us that. They persevered in great difficulties and not only did they survive, they prospered.”
"Deputy Prisons Commissioner tells inmates:As a man thinketh so is he"