Vision On Mission (VOM) offers numerous programmes, activities, and services to our clients to aid in the reduction of recidivism which also serves to prevent and suppress crime, social displacement, and youth delinquency in our communities.
Our In-Prison Preparation for Release Programme
The In-Prison Preparation for Release Programme educates inmates about the social and economic realities that they will face upon release in addition to providing them with the tools and pathways to avoid re-offending and become a law-abiding citizen. Vision On Mission, as a key stakeholder within the criminal justice system, partners with the Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service (TTPS) and visits the following prisons on a weekly basis to prepare inmates while incarcerated for their return to society, through the Preparation for Release Programme conducted by the organization’s facilitators:
- Port of Spain Prison
- Golden Grove Prison
- Eastern Correctional Rehabilitation Centre
- Maximum Security Prison
- Golden Grove Women’s Prison
- Carrera Convict Prison
- Youth Training Centre
- Tobago Prison
The Preparation for Release Programme consists of Registration of the inmates by VOM Caseworkers, Needs/Risks assessments, Individual/Group counselling sessions, and a Life Skills curriculum that includes modules on Prisonization, Reconation therapy, Spirituality, and Citizenship to name a few, which are based on What Works in Corrections.
Counselling and Life Skills Sessions
Vision On Mission realizes that persons exiting the prison system or deportees returning to Trinidad may have a host of different psychological “hang-ups” that may have been in existence, even before incarceration. In order to adequately address these psychological, emotional, and physical needs that the In-transit facility clients and Walk-in clients may experience, VOM Caseworkers are readily available to meet with the clients both informally at the In-transit facilities and formally at the organization’s Head office.
VOM Caseworkers also conduct various group sessions on Life Skills at the In-transit facilities for the clients, as a mechanism to enhance their successful reintegration into society. These sessions are conducted on a weekly basis at the facilities.
This group work session focusing on the topic of “Trust vs. Dis-trust”, expanded an In-prison Preparation for Release programme module, and required clients to be self-aware of their own levels of trusting others as well as, a measure of their current ability to trust each other and Staff.
VOM also accommodates various lecturers and motivational speakers who visit the In-transit facility from time to time, educating the clients from their point of expertise in all aspects of being able to successfully reintegrate into society.
The Vision On Mission Employment Progamme is designed to address the shortage of financial and employment resources being made available to reintegrate male and female ex-offenders and deportees. As part of the reintegration, resettlement and rehabilitation services provided, Vision On Mission Enterprises Limited (VOMEL), a subsidiary company of VOM, was established as a means to provide assessment of the clients’ current skills and need for skill developmental training, and to generate employment opportunities for the clients through accessing various jobs at governmental and private organizations.
Through the novel CEPEP Jump start programme, clients are able to gain employment through the VOMEL initiative, shortly after entering VOM’s Resettlement programme. They are able to learn new skills on the ground and then use those skills at the end of the Programme as they go into permanent employment elsewhere. The objective of this programme is to ensure a legitimate income for the clients to self-sustain themselves in the interim, before seeking more lucrative job opportunities in the labour market.
The Caseworkers routinely conduct job site visits to evaluate the clients in the work environment to ensure their successful progression and quality performance throughout the Programme.
Personal Skills and Development Training Centre
Vision On Mission continues to deliver solutions to the many problems encountered by its clients. A major challenge faced by clients after they are released from prison, or deported from the metropolis, is finding sustainable employment.
The issue of employment or even creating self-employment isn’t limited to concerns that a potential employer might have but, more so, the skill sets that an ex-offender would not possess to fit the needs required by a business owner.
VOM after many consultations with potential employers and business owners and through various discussions with its clients, listened attentively to all the stakeholders concerned and took the decision to develop an in-house programme to address this particular hurdle.
Through the Personal Development and Skills Training Centre situated at the Wallerfield facility of Vision On Mission, clients will be exposed to a wide range of entrepreneurial and business tools that will be offered via workshops/seminars formats. There will be an emphasis on agriculture as it is felt that this is an underutilized sector, while it also contributes to their upkeep at the centre.
While there will be a focus on agriculture as mentioned above, we aim to create a balanced approach to the training by exposing participants to other skill areas through workshops and training modules.
Clients will be trained in life skills, industry-specific training, marketing, agro-processing, and crop propagation to name a few. VOM shares the view that in the process of growth, importance should always be placed on HOW participants can achieve that growth. We believe in demonstrating to our clients how they can continue to achieve their goals.
As a result, the combined objectives for both VOM and the clients of acquiring marketable skills and developing self-reliance are attained.
Focus on Agriculture at Wallerfield
Agriculture was identified as one of the main sectors to launch the Personal Skills Training and Development programme because of its potential to produce raw material to satisfy the basic needs of our clients, as well as generate sales at the Wallerfield Facility.
The agriculture project will offer specific training in the marketing, storage and the logistical elements of the business model.
There will be four main methods used in this project. These identifiable methods were chosen because of space constraints and the fact that emphasis is placed on a short to medium term time-frame for evaluation purposes.
Crops will be selected on the basis of their suitability for growth through one or more of these methods:
- Open field farming
- Grow boxes
- And, Horticulture, perhaps the only medium to a long-term aspect of the project.
Money Management Programme
Vision on Mission Enterprises Limited (VOMEL) Money Management Programme can be defined as an initiative by the organization that treats with ensuring the financial well-being of the client, through targeted, conditional regulation of the client’s finances by way of encouraging mandatory saving through our Employment Money Management Programme. It serves as a learning system for budgeting, investing, saving, spending, and initially overseeing the cash usage of the individual.
The Programme is aimed at empowering the client financially by encouraging thrift frugality and having a consistent attitude towards saving money. While it proclaims and enforces the principle of delayed gratification to an extent, the client’s immediate personal and financial needs are still met through a procedure of formal requests to access monies from their accumulated savings account. VOM Caseworkers and Accounts staff, also engage the clients in various Goal-setting and Financial Planning activities to reinforce their understanding of “why” it is important to develop a saving mentality and the importance of the Money Management Programme.
The purpose of VOMEL’s Money Management Programme is to ensure that the client is capable of sustaining themselves after completion of the Resettlement Programme on towards becoming financially independent.
Other Services Offered
Besides the various programmes and activities, training, and services offered, Vision On Mission also provide clients with financial assistance and other support in the form of groceries, hygiene, and emergency funds on a case-by-case basis to meet their immediate needs.
Vision On Mission has hosted many mediation encounters and family/client meetings since its inception.
Family/client mediation is a process that provides interested family members with the opportunity to meet the client in a safe and structured setting to engage in a mediated discussion of the crime and its impact on them. With the assistance of a trained mediator, the family is able to:
- Inform the client about the crime’s physical, emotional, and financial impact on them
- Receive answers to lingering questions about the crime and the client, and
- Be directly involved in developing a reconciliation plan between both family and client.
Goals of family/client mediation/reconciliation
- To support the healing process of families by providing a safe and controlled setting for them to meet and speak with the client on a strictly voluntary basis
- To allow the client to learn about the impact that their crime has had on their family, and for them to take direct responsibility for their behaviour, and
- To provide an opportunity for the family and client to develop a mutually acceptable plan that addresses the harm caused by the crime.
Families can also be an important factor in helping clients move towards a “straight path” and stay crime-free. Vision On Mission realizes that family-based interventions in general, (i.e. interventions that focus on improving relationships and mediation skills) are effective in reducing reoffending among clients. It is, therefore, encouraged for family visits and client spending weekends at their family’s home to take place.
Taking these measures has been favourable to both the client and VOM, as it has attributed to successful employment and accommodation outcomes after exiting the programme. It has also been found to reduce the chances of clients reoffending after graduating from our In-transit programme.
Donate To The Reduction In Recidivism And Creating Safer Communities
Each donation goes towards the operations of the varied programmes and services provided to VOM’s clients.