Prisoners need useful activities, not degrees

Prison authorities should readopt the past policy of giving inmates the opportunity to acquire manual skills, the reader said.
Prison authorities should readopt the past policy of giving inmates the opportunity to acquire manual skills, the reader said.
Image: Tebogo Letsie/The Times

I want to make sense of affording prisoners formal education up to the level of university degrees.

I don't see the rationale behind that because even the correctional services department cannot absorb them.

The private sector as well is not keen on job-seekers with criminal records.

In the past inmates acquired manual skills they used when they left prison. They would work at prison-based factories, manufacturing their clothes, or work on prison farms to produce their food.

Others worked in kitchens as cooks and general workers. All these jobs were useful to the prisoners, and so were the sports fields and gyms which produced sportsmen and women.

I'm mindful of prisoners' human rights but today inmates are idle, enjoying access to social media and even worse, engaging in further criminal activities behind the bars.

Andries Monyane, email

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