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India church prison ministry plans skills training for inmates

Training will offer convicts a better chance to find honest employment after their release

November 24, 2016

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The church-run Prison Ministry of India will provide skills training to prisoners to equip them to find a job, earn a living and lead a dignified life when their imprisonment ends.

"Nobody is bothered about prisoners after they are released," said Father Sebastian Vadakumpadan, the ministry’s national director. "We have to see they get accepted in society and get jobs after they come out of jail," he said.

Prisoners will be trained in jobs like plumbing, electrical work, computer education and beautician courses.

Prison Ministry of India has some 6,000 volunteers, including priests, nuns and lay people, who visit some 800 prisons across India providing counseling and motivational support.

The ministry has 33 rehabilitation centers in India, and 29 of them are for children whose parents are jailed. Some 250 such children live in these centers with the ministry taking care of all their food and education needs.

The ministry also runs rehab centers for men and women released from the jails but who have nowhere to go.

"We also meet the family members of the jailed, and encourage them to go to the jail and meet their loved ones," said Sister Archangel, who belongs to the Sisters of Adoration of Blessed Sacrament congregation.

Father Sebastian Vadamumpadan director of the church-run Prison Ministry of India poses for a photograph along with nun volunteers working with the organization on Nov. 19. ( photo)

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