The President of Malta George Vella and Mrs Vella met with 11 residents currently following a Caritas drug rehabilitation programme – the Prison Inmates Programme – outside the Corradino Correctional Facility.
Some residents shared with the President and Mrs Vella their experiences and the difficulties they faced due to drug abuse problems and because of which they ended up breaking the law. They all explained the love and help they received from the Caritas Malta staff at the Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq residence where they are following this programme.
Pointing out that there is hope for everyone, President Vella appealed to the residents to make the best use of this opportunity to overcome drug addiction. The President noted that through the work of the workers and volunteers of Caritas Malta, these residents are given a taste of normality: to respect each other; how to empathise; and above all a sense of love.
At the end of the visit, President Vella stated that it was an emotional experience. Thanking the Caritas staff, he said that the purpose of his visit was not to judge the residents, but to encourage them.
The Caritas Malta Prison Inmates Programme for people who are serving a prison sentence and have a drug abuse problem was developed from the San Blas programme and started functioning independently in 1998. Prisoners are given special permission to follow the ten-month programme in a home environment during which they have the opportunity to work. Residents also attend an education programme and therapeutic sessions to acquire basic life skills.