Kids see just how hard it is in prison

Luzuko Pongoma

Luzuko Pongoma

Prevention is better than cure. These are the words of the Mondeor SAPS and Pillar to Post, an educational theatre company.

On Friday, members of the police station and theatre group took Grade 7 pupils at Glenanda Primary School on a tour of Johannesburg Prison.

The 31 pupils visited the female section where Leah Steyn, a prisoner serving 25-years for drug trafficking, told them about her life in prison.

Steyn told the children about the hardships of life behind bars and how this had affected her children.

The pupils also visited the female juvenile section and adult male section.

Matthew Matthysen, 12, said he learnt a lot from the tour.

"I will not make the same mistake they did. This really shows that crime doesn't pay," he said.

Katlego Makubetse, 12, said more children should visit prisons. "Children should go to school and wear a uniform of pride, rather than doing crime and wearing a prison uniform of shame," she said.

Mondeor police spokesperson Nokulunga Mahonga said the visits were part of a strategy to deter crime.

"Children start with drugs then commit more serious crimes. We want them to know the police will arrest them and send them to jail," she said.

"We want to reform the outlook of our youth about crime and to show them the consequences of crime," said Jacqui de Villiers of Pillar to Post.