Justice minister Anna Procopiou has announced that a total of 64 prisoners have been placed into working roles following their release.
The released prisoners have been employed as part of a government incentive scheme for businesses worth €4 million, which works in tandem with the Prison department’s education services.
Procopiou made the announcement at the Prison department schools’ end-of-year ceremony, where she said education and professional training of prisoners is a priority for the government.
She said the figure has “exceeded all expectations” and that the government is actively supporting the work of prisons to be able to reintegrate prisoners into society.
At present there are eight schools operating in prisons, with a total of 623 prisoners participating. Procopiou said there are also a number of prisoners remotely studying at universities.
Procopiou said the schools amount to “an organised education system based on modern scientific standards and adapted to the particular needs and diversity of the prison population”.
“Much has been done to strengthen the knowledge, abilities, and skills of the prisoners in a complex and multicultural prison environment. To this end, the level of social reintegration is enhanced”, she said.
She added that education is “necessary for the prison system to function as a place of reformation for prisoners and to prepare them for their smooth reintegration into society”.