Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Help with Prison Break

well, not exactly
I guess what we mean is to try and make life a little bearable for people who have made mistakes...heres an interesting Idea that came across in my in box.Please pass it on to anyone who might be able to help. I was particularly touched by the idea of deathrow convicts needing religious books.Think about it

Dear Sir / Madam/ colleagues and friends.

Requesting of materials and other support to develop the library facilities at the Prison in Welikada

I'm an undergraduate student from NISD and reading for BSW degree. According to my curriculum, now I'm on the field practice and working at the welfare division at the Welikada prison ¡V SL.

When I was going through the facilities that are available for the prisoners to develop them self and the resources which will help them to rehabilitate and develop their capacity, I could realize some needs and issues that has to be fulfill for the betterment of prisoners welfare.

At the library there are around 3,000 books and the total membership was around 450. Since the total prisoners of the prison closely 7000, the library is unable to provide membership for more prisoners due to several reasons.
Lack of books for the children's those who are living with their mothers inside the prison.
Lack of books that needed to learn about law and human right especially relevant to Latest novels are highly demanded among prisoners, but only few are available at the library
Lack of books about spiritual development. Since the people at the death penalty were very interested about religious kind of books to settle down there mind.
There is no single newspaper at the library
Prisoners were providing some vocational and technical training in several sections, so it would be better if there are any books that they can refer and learn new techniques and update their knowledge and skills on their subjects which they could really use in their future life as well as and income after leased by the prison.
Due to the vulnerability towards of STDs, and other diseases infection, drug addiction, there should be some reading materials for the prisoners to get some knowledge which will at least educate them up to some extent.
While interviewing with prisoners, I understood that the prisoners those who about to release, were disappointed and afraid of society since they had a gap and distance with this fast moving society. Therefore it is better to locate some resources and opportunities to update and develop their knowledge and understanding. And also this will help to decrease the number of re imprisonment. Further there is much to develop in counseling and guidance system in welfare section. Therefore improving of library will help the prisoner's welfare up to some distance.
Please note that this is only my personal idea and commitment but under the permission from Mr. A.D.A. Alwis, the head of the welfare section. I'll be volunteering on this matter to collect materials and coordinate things. Therefore you personally or your organization/ company/ institute /group could assist/support/direct/guide me in any ways of if directly involve this, I shall be really grateful.
Thank you
Asanga Coorey
Mobile 0715-306103 / 0772220967


Anonymous said...

Arent the prisoners in prison for a reason and surely there are plenty more other people who are more deserving?

I know you mean well and but I really cant see why these people deserve anything more. After all, if you pay your taxes you have already paid to clothe, feed and house them often in better conditions than they would have outside despite them stealing/killing/raping/selling drugs.

It actually galls me that they or anyone else thinks that they should get any more help.

aljuhara said...

firstly, anonymous , i really think you should identify yourself since its a free country and you probably wont be shot for what you blog.(seriously- at least use a nickname)
secondly have you ever been to one of these places? and spoken to any of these people?
there are women in Gangodawila convicted for "adultery" . Can you figure out how many Sri Lankans would be in jail if this law in this country was equitable? this is simply because their husbands wanted them out of the way, and they are broke and illiterate. the children have to stay there with them in jail..
seriously have you been to one of these places even once?

Asanga Coorey said...

Dear aljuhara,

just for fun i type my name to Google, from that i found your blog which you have posted my request about develop the library facilities at the Welikada Prison. so thanks a lot for your attention on it. and again i read a respond from anonymous person. who ever the person i must say he/she is crazy or something wrong with she/her.
thanks again for the nice respond to anonymous...

by working with them(inmates) i met so many people who haven't done any crime and because of their vulnerability they are inside. people do mistakes, nobody is perfect even we do mistakes. some of them have actually done something wrong but may be for the 1st time in their life. comparatively small mistake in a country like where big shots (people) do wrong thing even in public and they were nicely protected. how ever this prisoners will go back to society one day and they should fit with it. there should be some ways to update them and keep their mental condition. i know many families, children are waiting till their belonging people comes back to home. think about the children at the female section. what kind of crime they have done. their entire world is only few land area covered by 4 walls. today i went to inside of female section and i felt so sad of these innocent children. just imaging how they will grow, compare with our childhood.

please write to me on my gmail because I'm not sure your e-mail address. i have good book collection now and hope to start a proper library in the female section. will keep you update with the works which i do for prison inmates. i appreciate your kindness and better understanding of humanities. (

aljuhara said...

its nice to hear from you, Asanga. Ive read the report Sunila Abeysekera did about Gangodawila and i was horrified. I have never actually been to one of these places, simply because the claustrophobic thought would make me want to cry. But I believe you.
Congrats on this wonderful work you have undertaken and remember we will give you whatever support we can!