Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
YOUR caption in Sowetan of June 18 on page 8 refers. The Department of Correctional Services is offering numerous rehabilitation programmes to offenders in South Africa.
For far too long, prisons have been regarded as breeding grounds for criminality, places of punitive authoritarianism and backwaters of everything that is despised by society.
The Department of Correctional Services offers programmes to offenders so as to equip inmates with skills that they can rely on after they have served their time.
The responsibility of the department is not merely to keep individuals out of circulation and away from society nor to merely enforce punishment that is meted out by the courts.
The department's responsibility is to correct offending behaviour in a secure, safe and human environment in order to facilitate the achievement of rehabilitation and avoidance of recidivism.
This is part of the government's mandate to the Department of Correctional Services.
Within the department's environment, rehabilitation is best facilitated through a holistic sentence planning process that engages the offenders at all levels - social, moral, spiritual and physical.
It is premised on the approach that every human being is capable of change and transformation if he or she if offered the opportunity and resources.
On the other hand, the community at large should join hands with the Department of Correctional Services so as to ensure that rehabilitation phases are completed and also to help individuals to avoid re-offending behaviour.
Tshifhiwa Magadani, Pretoria