Developmental correctional system a reason to celebrate

The country’s developmental correctional system is a cause to celebrate freedom, says the National Commissioner of Correctional Services, Zach Modise.

“We have produced a human rights based developmental correctional system, from the ashes of a prison system that was the bastion of apartheid oppression,” Modise said.

He was speaking during a media tour of Boksburg Correctional Centre production workshops on Tuesday, which was organized to showcase progress made in transforming historically repressive prisons to human rights based centres for offender rehabilitation.

“From an oppressive system which essentially wear-housed and brutalised prisoners, we are building a rehabilitation centred system that is accountable for its deeds and misdeeds to a number of oversight structures,” Modise said.

According to the Department of Correctional Services, the Boksburg production workshop is leading among ten offender workshops nationally with a R29 million annual turnover from top range furniture, steel works, upholstery, textile, bakery, powder coating, boiler making, agriculture and school furniture.

Modise said the department had invested R4.5 million to recapitalize the Boksburg offender production workshop, which boosted the workshop’s turnover by 38 percent within one year, from R21 million in 2014/15 to R29 million in the 2015/16 financial year.

The Boksburg Correctional Centre also boasts of producing 627 800 loaves of bread annually at a low cost of R3.85 to supply a number of correctional centres thereby saving the fiscus R2.6 million per annum, when considering the average bulk supply benchmark price of R8.00 for a loaf of bread.

The Boksburg Correctional Centre has also established an offender skills development unit which has produced 25 fully qualified artisans.

There are 130 offenders who are currently being trained on other skills development programmes, as part of a broader national shift to technical and vocational skills development in order to meet a country target of 30 000 artisans by 2030, as pronounced in the National Development Plan.

“Our aim is to ensure that we do not breed a community of criminals that will re-offend, but rather a group of ex-offenders, and parolees, that are ready to contribute in building safe environments, and a strong economy, for our beloved country,” he said.

Source: Government Communication and information System