November 21, 2003
Meeting with the Hon. Dr Tonio Borg
Minister of Justice and Home Affairs
on the theme
‘Prison … wasted time?’
St James Chavalier, Valletta
This year’s public meeting was a special one in many respects. To begin with, it was accompanied with a wonderful exhibition of works created by the prisoners themselves, in collaboration with the prison authorities. The exhibition, inaugurated by the Hon. Minister of Justice and Home Affairs, Dr Tonio Borg, in the presence of Prison Director, Mr Sandro Gatt, remained open up till the 30th of November.
The well-attended public meeting was held immediately before the inauguration of the exhibition. Apart from the Hon. Minister and the Prison Director, other special guests addressed the meeting. These included: Mr Joseph Giordmaina, from the Faculty of Education of the University of Malta, who is the Co-ordinator of the Educational Programme at the prisons; Mr Desmond Zammit Marmarà, the Co-ordinator of the prison school; Mr Eucharist Grech, the Co-ordinator of sports at the prison; Mr Jack Grech, the Official responsible for social assistence at the prisons; and Mr Joseph Spiteri, the main psychiatrist at the prisons. The meeting was also addressed by an ex-prison inmate.
After assisting to the wealth of experience that these speakers brought to the meeting, a discussion was held, led by a penal composed of: Dr Mark Montebello, Director of Mid-Dlam ghad-Dawl; Mr Mario Vella, Deputy Chairperson of the political party Alternattiva Demokratika; the Hon. Dr Gavin Gulia, the main speaker for the Opposition on Home Affairs; and the Hon. Minister of Justice and Home Affairs, Dr Tonio Borg. The public present, which participated in the discussion most heartily, included many relatives of prisoners and various journalists.
The whole meeting was chaired by Mid-Dlam ghad-Dawl’s Co-ordinator, Mr Ivan Cauchi, who addressed those present at the very beginning of the meeting, and also introduced an experty-made video presentation on the meeting’s theme: Prison … wasted time?
The meeting was a success all around, a perfect example of good team-effort. During its address, Mid-Dlam ghad-Dawl expanded on the theme of the management system at the Corradino Prisons. It also made two proposals to the Hon. Minister: first, to set up a multi-disciplinary commission, headed by the Prison Director, to work on a managerial reform within the Corradino Prisons; and to commission a study on the managerial situation at the prisons, and make proposals in this regard. Mid-Dlam ghad-Dawl pledged its full cooperation for the fulfillment of this proposal.