WITH the imminent change of use of HMP The Verne on Portland, the Kainos Project, which enabled groups of inmates to live as a community, has now come to an end.
The prison is to become an Immigration Detention Centre in plans confirmed by the Ministry of Justice this week.
A thanksgiving service to mark 16 successful years of the project was held at the prison’s chapel where a packed congregation of inmates, clergy and others who have been associated with Kainos over the years were welcomed by the Verne Chaplain Reverend Bill Cave.
The Revd Cave led the service alongside assistant chaplain the Revd Geoff Hebbern, who was acknowleged by all as ‘Mr Originator’ as it was his dedication and determination as a prison officer that enabled the project to start at The Verne.
The service was contributed to by members of the chaplaincy team, reflections were related by those who have been involved in its progress, including inmates, and a big contribution came from five of the prison’s ‘resident’ musicians.
Inmate ‘Blue’ read his own poem in praise of the Revd Hebbern’s work and presented him with a medal and certificate.
The Revd Cave said: “This marks the end of Kainos here but I am grateful to know that it will carry on in other prisons, including Guys Marsh.”
Blue, 56, has spent a total of 18 years in prison, the past 14 months at HMP The Verne and he said: “Serving time made me get used to being alone so it was wonderful to come here and become part of the Kainos Community, just like being part of a family again.”
Welsh Chris has been back home, working in an electronics factory for over three years having completed a nine-year sentence including three at The Verne.
He said: “I am now leading a happy and successful life for which I give praise to Kainos.”
Revd Hebbern said: “I am pleased that Kainos will be carrying on elsewhere as it has made a positive contribution to life at HMP The Verne.”