Prisons Dep’t to make inmates’ handicrafts easily accessible

National 1 minute, 50 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Prisons Department is looking for ways to make it easier for the public and potential clients to purchase inmates’ handicrafts and furniture produced under its vocational training programme.

According to Mohd Hilmi Wasli, the head instructor of the Prisons Department’s Vocational Training Section, the mechanism for placing orders and purchasing items needs further improvement.

“Currently, the public can only place orders and purchase items produced by the inmates by contacting the prison’s office at 2661266 or coming to the prison institutions (Jerudong, Maraburong and Women’s Prison) themselves,” he told The Brunei Times in an interview recently.

“We’re looking to improve this and find better ways to facilitate customers in placing their orders or purchasing these inmates’ products,” he said, adding that this includes the possibility of using social media.

Dubbed as ‘Latihan Vokasional dan Kemahiran’ (LVK), the department’s vocational programme has more than seven fields where inmates can learn and harness their vocational skills including in woodwork and welding as well as creative arts and producing products related to each field.

“These customised and ready-made products include office tables, coffee tables, bookshelves, multi-purpose racks, shoe racks and ironing tables as well as handicrafts like traditional boats and ships replicas, rihal (Al-Quran stands) and Quranic verses calligraphy décor,” said Mohd Hilmi.

He stressed that it is pertinent to improve the services in promoting and selling the inmates’ products in order to cater to growing demand.

He added that Jerudong Prison is popular with its wooden handicrafts and furniture products while Maraburong Prison bested other prison institutions in terms of its products from kimpalan (welding).

Meanwhile, the majority of the customers comprise government agencies, prison visitors and inmates’ family members, as well as members of the public, he said.

“We also join expos or exhibitions nationwide in a bid to further promote all these inmates’ products and showcase them to the public.

“Our objective is not only to help these inmates acquire such skills and produce these products when they’re released in the future and get the ‘right exposure’, but also to lessen the burden of the government as the profits from selling these products become government revenue.”

The Brunei Times