Monique Grange, Gleaner Writer
Humanitarian group Food for the Poor assisted in the freeing of 18 prisoners, who were incarcerated for their inability to pay fines for petty offences.
The ex-convicts were previously locked up at three of the islandís adult correctional centres.
Fifteen were released from the St. Catherine Adult Correctional Centre, two from Tamarind Farm and one from the Richmond Farm facility in St. Mary.
In addition to paying their fines, Food for the Poor also gave each of the inmates money to cover food and transportation costs to get them back home to their families, as well as a package containing toiletries.
The ex-prisoners will now receive training, and the tools that are necessary to be reintroduced into their communities.
They will also benefit from the organisationís Fresh Start programme, which is geared to help former prisoners start sustainable small businesses.
Approximately 3,100 former inmates have been rehabilitated as a result of the programme.
Since 2003, 220 inmates have been released from prison with Food for the Poorís help.