Prison Ministry India – Aida Margaret D’Cunh

Philanthropy is greatest when it comes from the heart. Aida Margaret D’Cunha is now the chairperson of the Federation of Konkan Catholic Association, the vice president of Abhay, an NGO working toward creating awareness on education, scholarships and minority beneficiaries, and is a national executive member of the Prison Ministry India. For her, though, the desire to help those who need it most began when she was six years old.

“My father owned a store and I would ask him for pencils and books to give to the poorer children in my class,” said Aida. “I was only six then.” By the time she was 10, Aida had taken to visiting the sick and the elderly in her village, on her way home from school each day, giving them the companionship they so badly wanted. Aida went on to become a teacher but gave that up to took after her child, who was one year old at the time.

It wasn’t long before her philanthropic instincts resurfaced. She joined a number of organisations including the Prison Ministry India, New Dawn Rehabilitation Centre and the Bangalore Multi Purpose Service Centre, where the Bishop serves as president. Through the Prison Ministry, Aida began work with underprivileged children, women, orphans, prisoners and juvenile delinquents.

“They have so little interaction with the outside world. Every day is a struggle both physically and mentally,” says Aida about the prisoners she meets at Parappana Agrahara prison. “Many are victims of circumstance, some have committed crimes, others haven’t. The people who don’t have any money will not make it out.” Aida helps them reunite with their families — many prisoners are not just ostracised from society but are estranged from their own kin as well. “We counsel families and it’s hard, but it helps them interact with each other.” Along with facilitating paper work for releasing prisoners, they also organise entertainment and social activities both within and outside the prison.

“There are 41 HIV-positive patients living there,” she says, along with cancer patients and diabetics. The prison has only one doctor. “We bring good food to these people and are also helping them find a doctor. There was a programme in the prison on Saturday and 4,200 prisoners were given a shirt and a pair of pants from Louis Philippe,” she says proudly. Entertainment programmes, games and medical camps are conducted to bring a touch of humaneness to the prisoners’ lives.

Their stories range from pathetic to disturbing to horribly unfair and there’s little that can be done about it. Ramu (name changed), who has been in prison for four years, learned that his mother was on her deathbed and wasn’t being allowed entry into a local cancer hospital. “She had throat cancer, was on her deathbed and all she wanted to do was see her son.” It took a great deal of running around, but the task was complete. “We took her to the prison and when she heard her son’s voice, she wept.” Ramu was given permission to be with his mother and he spent her last two days on this earth with her.

Stories from the juvenile prison are no less heart rending. From drugs to theft to sexual harassment, the horrors these children have seen defy description. When a young girl from a neighbouring village was kidnapped, right out of college by a local gangster, things seemed hopeless. “Even the police weren’t willing to help and the man, who had kidnapped this girl when he was on parole, was back in prison. She called us and I went there with her mother to bring her home.” The girl had been forced to marry the gangster and was even pregnant with his child by the time she was found and rescued. “I was scared to help her because it would put my family in danger, but luckily, nothing of the sort has happened yet.”

As if all this doesn’t already make for an impressive portfolio, Aida talks happily about the families she has reunited, the young people for whom she has found jobs, the children she has helped. “Some of the people who come to me looking for a job don’t even have one set of decent clothes to wear for an interview,” she remarked. “I’ve given them my children’s clothes.” Also a marriage counsellor, Aida has organised marriages for orphans and blind people, helping them find homes on rent and helping them set it up. Philanthropy isn’t a job, it certainly isn’t a career, it is a way of life. And for those who truly care, every moment is a good one to reach out, even if it is in the smallest way.

Study: Violence is common in German prisons

A investigate on assault in German prisons astounded researchers looking to get an thought of a volume of charge in jails. One out of 4 prisoners in German jails gifted an act of assault in a month before a investigate was conducted. The series jumped to half of a people hold in comforts for immature offenders. Seven percent pronounced they were subjected to passionate abuse – a really high percentage, pronounced Christian Pfeiffer, who heads a Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony. That hospital conducted a study.

Nearly 6,400 prisoners in 33 prisons took partial in a study, that concerned an unknown petition jail officials were not authorised to see.

Pfeiffer pronounced he was astounded during a turn of assault in prisons

“The scale of assault astounded us really much,” Pfeiffer said, adding that he was repelled by how mostly assault occurs in tools of a jail where guards can see all that is happening. Violent acts were also reported in areas where guards did not have a finish overview of inmates’ actions, such as showers, tools of a jail where inmates worked and in community cells.

Brutal juveniles

Researchers were also struck by a levels of assault reported in comforts for immature people.

“The really heartless assault that occurs in a vital areas of youthful prisons clearly uncover that a preparation judgment is wrong,” Pfeiffer said, adding that as shortly as doors were sealed and guards could no longer see what was happening, presence of a fittest took over. Weaker people paid a cost for stronger prisoners to build adult reputations for being tough.

The investigate hospital called for a thought of community vital areas to be reconsidered. Cells should usually be non-stop when jail personnel  are benefaction and some-more camera were indispensable to watch keep lane of what happens in a prisons, quite comparison prisons, in sequence to forestall secret acts of violence. The hospital also suggested prisoners start their sentences with a vast volume of space that could be gradually taken from them if they intent in aroused acts. Finally, a researchers argued jail crew should not be reduced.

State criticism

Anton Bachl, conduct of a German Association of Prison Officers, also warned opposite slicing jail staff.

Bachl pronounced jail staff can assistance some-more as restrained numbers drop

“Now, during a time when invalid numbers are falling, we should make use of all resources during a disposal,” he said.

Criticism came from a state probity ministries in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and Baden-Württemberg. Officials during a ministries denied that assault in prisons was a mass phenomenon. There were over 48,000 inmates in prisons in NRW in 2011, and 587 instances of teenager violence. The Baden-Württemberg Justice Ministry had purebred 30 cases of purported abuse, reduction than half as many as in 2005.

But Pfeiffer pronounced such numbers paint “cherry-picked research.”

“I am really astounded that a ministers were dauntless adequate to mount before a open and say, ‘Everything is improved here!’ – even yet they have no plain basement for claiming so,” Pfeiffer said.

‘Might creates right’

Bachl concluded that a states had close their eyes to a existence of a conditions in prisons. North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg, however, were not among a 5 of Germany’s 16 states that participated in a study.

Guards can’t always see what happens behind sealed doors

The sentencing laws practical to immature offenders in Germany were altered during a commencement of July, now permitting judges to hook on a supposed “cautionary confinement” of adult to 4 weeks in jail to a immature person’s probation.

The time in apprehension is dictated to have a deterring effect. But criminologist Pfeiffer pronounced a punishment would lead to some-more assault among immature inmates.

“They’ll learn that ‘might creates right’ will pledge presence – and that’s it,” he said.

Shina Rambo – from terrorism to ministry

A REPENTED former robbery kingpin, who terrorised the South West in the 1990s and now leading a prison ministry, Omokenwa a.k.a. Shina Rambo, is leading a power crusade to rid the Lagos Island of criminals and miscreants who daily make life unbearable for people in the central business district of the commercial capital of country.

A statement by the pastor in charge of the Lagos branch of Word of Life Bible Church, Lagos, Pastor Segun Braimoh, said the Lagos Island Power Crusade with the theme: “Divine Visitation”, is scheduled for August 2-4, 2012 and it will hold at the popular Oluwole Park, a reclaimed area of Lagos erstwhile regarded as the centre for forging all kinds of documents.

According to Braimoh, Evangelist Shina Rambo, whose real name is Omokenwa, has agreed to share his testimony of conversion at the three-day event and preach the undiluted Word of God with a view to winning the souls of the area boys in Lagos Island for Christ and enthrone a regime of peace in the area.

Coincidentally, the main preacher at the crusade is a retired police officer, ASP Udeh Sunday, who at one time was in charge at Robbery Squad in Lagos and there will be two special prayer sessions for Lagos State and businesses in the state. He will be joined by the host, Braimoh, while the TLC Praise Choir will minister.

Braimoh confirmed that the Oba of Lagos plans to send delegates from the palace.

In a telephone conversation yesterday, the former robbery kingpin, who claimed that his father hailed from Abeokuta, Ogun State, while his mother was from Sabongida-Ora, Edo State where he was raised and recruited into criminal activities.

Rambo reminded that after terrorising the South west in 1990s, he gave himself up to the police, convicted and was released from prison after serving 11 years at Agodi Prison, Ibadan. According to him, he met the Lord miraculously through a chance encounter in prison with Prophet T.O Obadare and since then his life had not remained the same, and had a prison ministration.

In a recent interview, he advised the Federal Government to tap from the “wealth of experience of people like us who can decode a lot of knotty issues as regards how to curb the menace of armed robbery. Some of those inside the prison are not supposed to be there. By the time they are out, they become hardened criminals.”

He therefore prayed that God will make things work in this country, “If He could locate me from the pit of darkness where I sojourned, and now in Christ, He will deliver the country from bad leaders who make things difficult for the masses, he added.”

Moroccan King Pardons 371 Prisoners

Moroccan King Mohammed VI pardoned 371 imprinting a appearance of Eid Al-Fitr, a Justice Ministry pronounced in a matter expelled final night. The pardoned prisoners enclosed 57 inmates who had been expelled on charitable grounds. The Moroccan authorities also reduced jail terms for 183 prisoners.

The Moroccan sovereign had pardoned 196 convicts (191 women and 5 men) following a revisit to a jail in Casablanca on Aug 10. Meanwhile, Morocco announced that tomorrow Monday would be a initial day of Eid Al-Fitr.


Ministry defends diagnosis given to jailed ex-president

Taipei, Aug. 22 (CNA) Justice Minister Tseng Yung-fu pronounced Wednesday that former President Chen Shui-bian, who is jailed during a Taipei Prison for corruption, has been given improved diagnosis than other inmates to safeguard his health.

The jail authorised Chen to spend one hour any day sportive outdoors, 30 mins longer than other prisoners, and he was also available a use of a list and a chair to review during a designated room for some 10 hours per day, Tseng pronounced during a assembly with former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark in Taipei.

While special caring and diagnosis has been given to Chen, he did not validate for medical parole, Tseng told Clark, who has been job for a evident redeem of Chen on medical grounds.

During a one-hour meeting, Tseng also presented Clark with an English-language news on Chen’s condition in a jail to assistance him improved know a tangible situation.

Clark is visiting Taiwan to consider Chen’s health. Having met Chen during a jail Monday, he told a internal media that a former boss should “be expelled for a best medical that’s possible.”

Chen is now portion a 17.5-year judgment for holding bribes in a land growth plan and for conversion a appointment of a president of a Taipei 101 skyscraper.

Accompanied by former Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Chai Trong-rong, Clark also suggested Chen be expelled from jail to accept medical diagnosis during his home by visiting doctors. Chen would be means to redeem from his earthy and mental basin there, he added.

In response, a Ministry of Justice pronounced Chen’s earthy condition did not validate him for medical parole. According to a law, usually inmates whose illness can't be treated by doctors in a jail could ask for medical parole, it added.

After a new examination, a medical group resolved that Chen’s illness could be treated by medication, Deputy Justice Minister Chen Ming-tang pronounced during a press discussion after a meeting.

According to a ministry, a Taipei Prison has started arranging for Chen to accept serve medical check-ups and diagnosis during a sanatorium outward a prison, during Chen’s request.

The emissary apportion pronounced a method would take into care Clark’s opinion on a issue. It was also hoped that Clark would assistance scold a myth of Chen’s indignity in prison, he said.

The method would compensate tighten courtesy to Chen’s health, he added.

A counsel and human-rights activist, Clark visited Taiwan in a 1980s and 1990s to join pro-democracy groups compelling a country’s democratization.

Clark is approaching to interpretation his four-day revisit to Taiwan on Thursday.

(By Elaine Hou)

Cameroon Prison Ministry Day of Prayer


The 4th world day of prayer for prisons and the prison ministry was celebrated at the Bamenda Central Prison with a huge success recorded. The week long activities ran from Monday 20th to Saturday 25th August 2012 on the theme “can you see me” or are you just looking? For 6days the Christian Women Fellowship (C.W.F), the Christian Men Fellowship (C.M.F), the Christian Youth Fellowship (C.Y.F) and the Halleluyah Choirs Association (H.C.A) of the Mezam and Santa Presbyteries took their turns to commune with the inmates.

Launching activities on Monday 20th, the Rev Ndifongu Godfred, preaching from Luke 8:26-39, called on the inmates to allow Jesus Christ step into their lives and be identified on their hearts and faces. This he said will enable them to sing a new song of liberation and their misery will become history. Present at the launching service were CWF, CMF, and CYF movements of P.C NTAMULUNG, NITOB 1 and MBONASSA PARISHES, the clergy, the chief of bureau for socio cultural affairs to the Bamenda Central Prison- Mr. MBU DAVID, the Head teacher of the JUVENILE REFORMATORY SCHOOL, Mr. ACHU BERTRAND among others.

On Tuesday the 21st August, the Rev. ACHA GERALD preached from John 4:5-14 on the theme “Give me something to drink”

On Wednesday the 22nd, the Rev ANIATAH NICODEMUS, preaching from John 6:27-40 enjoined the inmates to be able to look and see the Lord and believe. He equally exhorted the visitors to look and see those suffering, in need in prison and meet them at their points of need.

On Thursday the 23rd, the Rev. YENCHI, with the words of Isaiah 41:10-14 used the theme “Do not be afraid I am with you” He encouraged them that God brought them to prison to reform them therefore, they should not feel abandoned. God is with them.

On Friday 24th, the Rev. FOBANG GERALDINE, preaching on Act 4:32-35 on the theme “The Fellowship of Believers” enjoined the inmates to know that what brought them to prison does not matter, what is important is the fellowship that they share with them.

The Evangelistic activities culminated on Saturday the 25th of August 2012 with the overflow crowd of inmates who gave their lives to Christ. This special service was characterised by Baptism, Confirmation, and Readmission of some inmates and Holy Communion. It was presided by the New Presbyterial Secretary for Mezam Presbytery, the Rev. BESONG JOHNSON. He crowned the week long massages by calling on the over 200 inmates to be ambassadors of Christ, carrying love to other inmates. He equally encouraged them to stand on the solid foundation laid by Jesus Christ. Present at this service were Father Joachim, the Roman Catholic Chaplain to the Bamenda Central Prison, the representatives of the superintendent, M. TAH HENRY, Other clergy, the CWF, CYF, CMF, HCA Presbytery Exco among others.

The inmates expressed their joy and appreciation to the P.C.C through the presbyterial secretary in a well worded speech presented by an inmate (Rev. Adonghatu Esau) on behalf of the inmates. They equally stretched a hand of fellowship as they handed gifts to the presbyterial secretary, the P.C.C and R.C.C Chaplains to the prison, the CWF, CYF, CMF and the HCA presbytery presidents and the superintendent of the Bamenda Central Prison.

The gifts donated during this week were clothing, medication, Food Items, Bags of Rice, Bags of Garri, Beans, Corn, Carton of Savon, Banana, Fruits, Plantains, Toiletries Tooth Paste and brushes, Detol etc.

The P.C.C Chaplain to the Bamenda Central Prison Rev. TAH CHRISTOPHER FOBANG thanked all for making the prison week a success and prayed that it should create an impact in the lives of the inmates; He equally thanked the presbytery Executives of the CWF, CMF, CYF, and HCA for always supporting the prison ministry.

It should be noted that the prison week was also celebrated at the Mbengwi, Nkambe prisons and other prisons in the country. Attached are some pictures taken at the prison during the prison week at Bamenda Central Prison.




Warden Unharmed in Shooting Inside Venezuelan Prison

CARACAS – The supervisor of a jail in a northwestern Venezuelan city of Maracaibo transient unscathed on Thursday when a organisation of inmates shot during him, authorities in Zulia state said.

The jail arch came underneath conflict while questioning a news of armed inmates in one of a cellblocks, state Security and Public Order Secretary Odalis Caldera told Efe.

The supervisor was accompanied by members of a military group obliged for confidence outward a jail walls and a conflict “was repelled” though any casualties, she said.

She pronounced a hunt for weapons was underneath approach inside a cage and that additional guards had been posted on a perimeter.

The Venezuelan supervision acknowledges “a grave problem” with weapons inside a country’s vastly packed prisons, though insists a matter will be addressed as partial of a restructuring of a penal system.

Violence in a Andean nation’s prisons claimed 304 lives in a initial half of a year, an boost of 15 percent over a same duration in 2011, a eccentric Venezuelan Prisons Observatory pronounced Monday.

Two days later, a Prisons Ministry reported that guards confiscated 22 firearms – including a submachine gun – and dual tear-gas grenades from inmates during a cage in a executive state of Carabobo.

Also seized were some-more than 2,000 bullets, 3 knives, 3 computers, 98 dungeon phones and 98 packets of bootleg drugs, method central Mary Pili Viera said.

The method was combined a year ago after a month-long deadlock between army infantry and scarcely 1,000 armed inmates during a jail on a hinterland of Caracas. EFE

Punk band’s jail sentences defended

Russia has replied to general critique of a jail sentences imposed on members of Pussy Riot, observant identical laws exist in other countries.

In an online statement, a Foreign Ministry pronounced that laws identical to those used to prosecute a punk rope request in Germany, according to a Ria Novosti news agency.

Three members of Pussy Riot were condemned to dual years in jail on Friday, after being found guilty of hooliganism and inciting eremite loathing for behaving during a cathedral in Moscow on 21 February.

The women pronounced their criticism was destined during a Russian Orthodox Church’s support for Vladmir Putin, who was inaugurated for a third tenure as boss dual weeks later.

Nominations sought for Chambersburg’s annual Mike Waters Award

Chambersburg Borough officials are now holding nominations for a Mike Waters-Chambersburg Citizen of a Year Award, that began in 2000.

The endowment is given to a chairman who has finished critical proffer work for a community, possibly in a final year or by a lifetime of service, pronounced David Finch, partner precinct manager.

Nomination forms have already been sent to several village use organizations in Chambersburg, he said. A form contingency be finished and mailed to Borough Hall to be considered.

Nominations will be supposed as late as Sept. 7, with a endowment presented during a Chambersburg Borough Council meeting, Finch said.

Last year’s endowment was given to Charles “CQ” Smith for his use volunteering as a Sunday propagandize teacher, church choir member, a Boy Scout personality for 50 years, a Rotary Club member and one-time boss given 1966 as good as a member of a Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce given 1967.

The endowment is named in respect of Donald “Mike” Waters, who upheld divided on Sept. 12, 1999. Waters’ efforts enclosed portion on a Chambersburg Civil Service Commission, Chambersburg Community Improvement Association, a Rotary Club, a Prison Ministry, Downtown Chambersburg Inc., a Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce and many other play and organizations.

Venezuela pledges movement after 25 die in jail riot

Relatives collected outward a prison, concerned for news

Venezuelan authorities contend all stairs are being taken to forestall a repeat of a bloody jail demonstration that is now famous to have left 25 people dead.

Fighting pennyless out during a Yare we jail in Miranda state on Sunday while hundreds of kin were visiting.

Prisons Minister Iris Varela pronounced there would be a full inquiry.

Violence between opposition gangs is common in Venezuela’s packed jails and so distant this year some-more than 300 people have died, a internal rights organisation says.

Ms Varela pronounced a latest assault was believed to have started when a shot was dismissed during a contention between inmates.

She pronounced 25 people were killed and 43 others injured.

“We are holding all a required stairs to equivocate a repeat of such an incident, and we are move with a disarming of a jail population,” Ms Varela said.


Among a measures, she said, was a designation of physique scanners in some prisons.

Addressing wider concerns about Venezuela’s jail system, Ms Varela has pronounced that aroused inmates were “a minority who say control by terror”.

The infancy of prisoners were peaceable, “want to compensate off a debt they owe and lapse to their lives”, she said.

According to a non-governmental Venezuelan Prisons Observatory (VPO), some-more than 50,000 inmates are housed in prisons built to reason 14,000.

The state of a nation’s jails is a politically supportive issue, forward of October’s presidential election.

President Hugo Chavez combined a prisons method final year to pull by reforms of a complement after a vital overthrow during El Rodeo jail outward Caracas.

Mr Chavez has formerly pronounced that a jail complement was neglected prolonged before he took bureau in 1999.

Reacting to a news from Yare, Mr Chavez’s categorical rival, Henrique Capriles, wrote on Twitter that a mutation of a prisons was “another large distortion by a government”.