HLAF extends their advocacy of preparing inmates for reintegration phase

Written by Ma. Luisa Bautista

QUEZON CITY JAIL- There is a need for preparing persons behind bars for their reintegration in the community.

In partnership with the Quezon City Jail Male Dorm, the Humanitarian Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc. (HLAF) kicks off the first session of the Focused Reintegration for Ex-Detainees (FRED) junior phase inside the Quezon City Jail Male Dorm last Oct. 28.

HLAF decided to create the FRED junior phase in order to help the inmates, endorsed by the Jail Paralegal Officers, with possible release dates. It is with the objective of giving them sessions to prepare them with their release from the Quezon City jail. Then, they are expected to join the reintegration program for ex-detainees at Quezon City Amalgam to continue their sessions for their reintegration in the community.

Last October 14, HLAF social workers, Mr. Juanito Vinluan, RSW and Ms. Claudette Almadin, RSW, interviewed 10 inmates that will be the possible beneficiaries of FRED junior phase. Before starting the session last Oct. 28, Mr. Vinluan verified that two of the inmates they interviewed were released the following week.

Mr. Vinluan led the FRED junior phase by giving brief introduction about HLAF and the purpose of conducting the FRED junior phase. Also, HLAF staff gave them some things to expect like having incentives in their attendances on the sessions and that the goal of the FRED junior phase is to be able to help them in obtaining a job once they were released.

Ms. Almadin told the inmates that the program is only to guide and prepare them for their reintegration in the community.

The session started by the inmates stating the things they’ve done that they do not want to repeat in the future. Also, they were asked to draw any representation they envision for the future. The activity is for the inmates to learn more about themselves. Then, in order to describe themselves, they were asked to list their good characteristics and presented it in the group.

Afterwards, the inmates expressed their thoughts on their experience in the session. Some of them told the HLAF staff that they find it quite difficult to explain and express their ideas and they find it difficult to think and concentrate.

 “We are thankful that you (HLAF staff) are providing time for us and that we are also given the opportunity to express ourselves.” (“Nagpapasalamat po kami dahil naglalaan po kayo ng oras para sa amin at nabigyan din po kami ng pagkakataon na maipakita yung sarili namin.”) said one of the inmates that participated in the FRED junior phase session.

The FRED program aims to provide persons who had recently been released from jail with values formation, life skills training, family activities, introduction to the community and financial assistance. The FRED session is every Friday morning at the Quezon City Amalgam and the FRED junior phase session is every Friday afternoon at the Quezon City Jail.