Prison reform priority

2010-09-28 00:00

MINISTER of Correctional Services Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said yesterday she has signed a performance agreement with President Jacob Zuma that by 2014 there will be a significant increase in the number of rehabilitated offenders.

The minister was the main speaker yesterday at the New Prison Hall to celebrate the forth annual Corrections Week, which started yesterday and will run until October 3.

The aim of the event is to create awareness of the challenges that correctional officers face and the often dangerous work they undertake every day at risk to themselves and their dependants.

Mapisa-Nqakula said: “The priority is rehabilitation to ensure preparation of offenders when they go back to the society. Rehabilitation for offenders requires officials to be dedicated, committed and understand that working in the correctional service is a calling.

“You cannot give what you do not have. If prison officials do not have a rehabilitation mentality then they cannot impart the skills that will help shape the offenders to be responsible people when they leave the prison.”

She said it is the duty of the prison officials to ensure that offenders receive visitors because that way they know that they are cared for.

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