Ndebele visits prisons in Cuba

2012-10-02 21:54
(Picture: GCIS)

(Picture: GCIS)

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Johannesburg - Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele is visiting prisons in Cuba, Brazil and the United States to develop best practice models, his office said on Tuesday.

Ndebele, supported by national commissioner of his department, Tom Moyane, were in Havana, Cuba, on Monday and Tuesday to study and observe prison facilities, spokesperson Logan Maistry said in a statement.

"Without losing its rigour and discipline, the Cuban authorities have acknowledged that the Cuban penal system no longer relies on the simple 'behind bars' mentality, but they have exploited the advantages of dozens of courses for different educational levels."

More than 95% of Cuban prisoners learn at least one skill by the time they are released, and 51% earn an educational qualification.

During their jail terms, inmates also rebuilt state buildings such as school and hospitals.

Last week, Ndebele met director general Augusto Eduardo de Souza Rossini of the Brazilian penitentiary department where that country's programmes on reducing prison time through labour and reading were discussed.

"In Brazil, prisons are offering an interesting option to select prisoners: read and write essays on works of literature, philosophy and science to reduce sentences by four days for every book completed," Maistry said.

In one year prisoners can shave a maximum of 48 days off their prison sentences.

After Cuba, Ndebele and Moyane would fly to New York.

- SAPA

Read more on:    sibusiso ndebele  |  tom moyane  |  sa  |  brazil  |  cuba  |  us  |  prisons
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