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Agriculture initiatives behind prison walls

The Trinidad and Tobago Prisons Service is privileged to have Commissioner Dennis Pulchan leading their organisation. In his 38 years of service, Commissioner Pulchan has worked in all areas of penal reform and his passion is proven by the dedication, integrity, honesty, and workmanship displayed.

Commissioner Dennis Pulchan

His journey began in 1983 as a Prisons Officer I, and he diligently climbed the hierarchy ladder, assuming acting commissioner duties in 2020. He received his instruments of appointment as Commissioner of Prisons on July 20, 2021.

Since his assumption of duty, he has successfully reduced contraband within prison walls, managed and eliminated the effects of Covid-19 amongst the officers and inmates and has engaged in several enhancement programmes to uplift all ten penal institutions in Trinidad & Tobago.

In addition to the many upgrades, Commissioner Pulchan has made it his personal mission to create a dynamic agricultural sector within prison walls.

Unlike past commissioners, Commissioner Pulchan utilises agriculture as a method of penal reform. He has managed to generate food to not only feed his clients, but also to provide prison staff subsidised prices on crops.

The Golden Grove Prison currently consists of six agricultural estates and a growing livestock division where Commissioner Pulchan has resourcefully created an integrated mega farm, not only providing sustainability for the prisons, but also contributing to the country’s food security.

As 2021 dawned with the realisation that the world has significantly changed, where modernisation, mechanisation and digitisation are prioritised, Commissioner Pulchan has embarked on transforming the prison’s agricultural sector into a technology-driven one.

He is a firm believer in modern agricultural technologies such as precision agriculture, smart farming, and food traceability systems which he plans on integrating in the upcoming months.

In addition to this, he is an advocate for women’s rights and women empowerment through agriculture and has ample plans to incorporate a technology-driven greenhouse in the female prison for the enhancement of the lives for incarcerated females.

Commissioner Pulchan is also an advocate for education and awareness. He ensures that agricultural education is prioritised within prison walls so that when inmates leave, they will possess technical skills and training to become agri-entrepreneurs if desired, so that they can provide an income for themselves and their families.

Innovation distinguishes and defines a true leader, and it is without doubt that Commissioner Pulchan is an asset to the Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service.

Send questions to rayannaboodram@hotmail.com.