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Inside Look at a Belize Prison Operated by Rotarian's

Woodstock-Oxford Rotary will be giving residents a first hand look inside the World's Toughest Prison.

WOODSTOCK - Woodstock-Oxford Rotary will be giving residents a first hand look inside the World's Toughest Prison. 

Doug Vincent will share his journey inside the Belize Federal prison which is managed by Rotary under contract with the Federal Government in Belize. 

"We can learn a lot from Belize about how they manage the prison, when Rotary took it over, they had 900 inmates sleeping in 300 beds, they showed me photo's and I mean it was just a pig sty." 

The prison today focuses on rehabilitation and allowing inmates to learn skills through a variety of programs, including woodworking, farming, they even have their own radio station in the prison. Vincent says it is remarkable the work they have done to rehabilitate these inmates. 

"They have around 200 acres with a farming operations, they have a hog operation, a chicken operation, they have their own slaughterhouse and a bakery. The worst violent offenders are in a separate building and the lesser offenders are allowed to take advantage of all these programs." 

Vincent says they also have installed several programs for addicts. 

"I think some of the Rotarians saw that there was a need to improve the life of these inmates, and they saw long term that anything that can help an inmate become a better citizen, eventually will improve society and the local community in general. So in addition to life skills training they also have programs to combat addiction." 

The prison will be featured in an upcoming Netflix documentary called Inside the World's Toughest Prison. 

Vincent will give his inside look on the prison at the Woodstock Oxford Rotary meeting on Wednesday night at Chartwell Gardens and the general public is welcome to RSVP to the event. It does cost $20 for dinner and you can RSVP to John Narcisian at narcisian@yahoo.ca or (519) 532-0443.

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