'Halfway houses' for ex-prisoners?

2011-04-12 13:51

Cape Town - The correctional services department is to pilot a "halfway house" project that will serve as a transition facility for certain offenders between their life in incarceration and reintegration into communities.

Introducing debate on her budget vote in the National Assembly on Tuesday, Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said, initially, the pilot would focus on juveniles who had not been released on parole due to lack of formal addresses, as well as young people who were homeless at the time of their incarceration.

"We are currently in discussions with potential partners, both in government and private sector for support in achieving this and we should implement the pilot before the end of this year," she said.

Last year, an undertaking was given to give the issue of providing formal education a priority alongside programmess for skills development for offenders.

Considering that youth constituted close to 70% of the offender population, it had been decided to make formal education compulsory for all youth.

"This year we have engaged the department of basic education to have more centres registered as full-time schools."

Certain additional centres would now be eligible to offer the National Curriculum Statement syllabus for 2011.

These were the Usethubeni Youth Centre, St Albans, Barberton Medium, Barberton Maximum, Cradock Youth Centre and Emthonjeni Youth Centre.

"We are working towards declaring the 13 dedicated youth facilities out of the 241 correctional facilities in the country, full-time centres of learning," Mapisa-Nqakula said.

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