Civil society, govt must work together - Erasmus

2014-09-26 16:02

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Pretoria - Civil society must work with government departments to ensure criminals are successfully reintegrated into society, Nicro said in Pretoria on Friday.

"Civil society must work hard to be innovative in conjunction with other departments," SA National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders (Nicro) chairperson Judge Nathan Erasmus said.

"We must facilitate and prepare those who land up in our centres for a successful re-entry into civil society. Civil society must assist."

Erasmus was speaking at an Africa Corrections Day event at the Kgosi Mampuru Prison.

Erasmus said Nicro was working towards a system of rehabilitation and dignified reintegration of offenders.

Nicro had instituted "diversion" programmes in prisons to change the behaviour of offenders to create a safer society.

These programmes diverted mainly first-time offenders away from the formal criminal justice system into specialist developmental, therapeutic programmes to prevent re-offending and reduce crime.

Through this system, an average of 18 000 young people were diverted annually.

Earlier correctional services' chief deputy commissioner James Smalberger said: "We believe in the potential of people. We believe in giving people a second chance in life."

Correctional services' chief operating officer Nontsikelelo Jolingana said offenders were put into practical programmes that would make a difference in their lives.

Better resources were allocated to prisons and campaigns launched to ensure more receptive attitudes and the de-stigmatisation of rehabilitated offenders.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  crime

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