On Holy Thursday, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass for inmates at the Rebibbia New Complex Prison in the suburbs of Rome. But the Vatican’s concern for those at the prison does not stop there.
Since 2011, the overcrowded prison has partnered with the Holy See-owned hospital Bambino Gesù in a work education program to help train inmates and help them be re-accepted in society. The prison’s inmates have worked for the hospital in a call center established at the prison. They have been trained at the prison by the hospital’s personnel.
“This is how we integrated our call center operators through employing people with high possibility to live in social exclusion,” a source in the Bambino Gesù hospital explained.
Rebibbia prison has an official capacity of 1,200 inmates, but at present it houses some 1,750 people across 14 sections.
The work education program will help some of these inmates prepare to transition back into society.
At present there are seven inmates working in the call center from Monday to Saturday.
The program has now entered a new stage. On March 11, its first inmate left the prison on probation to work at the hospital’s call center headquarters in Rome.
The Vatican announced this week that Pope Francis will celebrate Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the prison on Holy Thursday. He will wash some inmates’ feet and the feet of inmates from the nearby women’s penitentiary.