Belize Central Prison Inmates Engage in Friendly Basketball Match with Galen University

Belize Central Prison Inmates Engage in Friendly Basketball Match with Galen University

Inmates at the Belize Central Prison got a chance at social inclusion during a friendly basketball match against Galen University. The game was a part of the university’s Criminal Justice Club and Athletic Department to promote social inclusion, restorative justice, and rehabilitation within the criminal justice system. Chief Executive Officer at the Kolbe Foundation, Virgilio Murillo spoke to Love News about the opportunities that rehabilitation programs provide to inmates.

Virgilio Murillo, CEO, Kolbe Foundation: “One of the things I can tell you is that you know the way we run the prison we try to make sure that you know the life in prison is not too different from the life that a person lives in an ordinary community. A prisoner when a prisoner comes to prison the punishment that that prisoner gets is the deprivation of their liberty, their freedom so that is really the punishment right there. The prisoner gets an opportunity to rehabilitate and sporting is one of those programs that they have access to just like in a regular community. So it is all up to the inmate to really take advantage of the various rehabilitation programs and try to see how they can better off themselves so that when they return to the society they return to the society a better person than they entered the prison. But you know inevitably some prisoners will not want to do those things and those are the ones that will complain, those are the ones that will feel the pinch if you want to call it that because the prison definitely will not allow them to carry on with their deviant and bad behavior, criminal behavior whilst behind bars because the whole purpose of them going to prison is really to try and help them get their life and their act together so that they become a reformed citizen for return to the society. Whatever is available in the society they are available in the prison it is all up to the inmate if they want to make use of it.”

The match lasted about an hour. Murillo says that the support that his team received was unique even though they lost the match.

Virgilio Murillo, CEO, Kolbe Foundation: “This would be at least the fourth time that Galen has come and played against the inmates at the prison. The other three previous occasions e had beaten them so this time around I think our guys were a little bit over confident that this would have just been a repeat, this would have probably been a walk in the park again for them but I think they underestimated this last set and that is why they may have gotten very complacent and took them lightly and it never worked out the way they thought it would have. So this is the first loss that they have had by Galen. A very weird thing happened. I saw where even the Galen students that came along to support them, to support their own Galen team were cheering even for the prisoners when they scored against Galen so that was rather unique.”

Another basketball tournament takes place today between prison inmates and Ahmadiyya Jama’at community.

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