It is human that society has no compassion for those offenders that are currently being incarcerated and also to be judgmental on the conditions and circumstances that they are being detained.
Offenders of the law needs to be punished and that is fact, as we are sick and tired of having to face crime and criminal elements on a daily basis.
But about the prison irregularities, such as what is happening as Leeuhof Correctional Centre outside Vereeniging, one can’t distanciate yourself from it.
The crime invested nests in which offenders have free access to smuggle and use contraband items, where warders can be bribed, and juveniles are ;sold’ to be raped.
It is indeed an alarming thought that offenders sometime in the future would be released back into society. They will be released right amongst us in civil society, us the law abiding citizens of the country.
Correctional Centres are there to punish and to detract offenders from being involved in crime. But in a healthy working society, it is also a place where offenders are to be rehabilitated, as to when they are discharged to be better human beings refraining from criminal activities.
The work of the correctional services is not to keep people behind bars forever. The budget that are not being spent, and vacant positions that are not being filled contribute to: the fact that offenders are being released back into society, in which they would fulfill a pertinent role and function, and ultimately can make a positive contribution, yet the rehabilitation that they were supposed to have received is conspicuously absent in that the manpower to facilitate this is not there.
But those offenders that are currently being released out of the dysfunctional centres, is like broken reeds. Nobody want to get involved or be associated with someone that are both cross and bitter and institutionalized with the prison culture in which corruption and abuse were very high on the agenda.
Therefore we should plead with the new Honourable Minister, Michael Masutha, to as a matter of urgency, immediately begin to clean prisons up of all the wrongs that are happening.
We just can’t allow it that ‘better’ criminals are being reared from correctional centres as it stands at the moment!