Prisoner recreation and rehabilitation highlighted in today’s press

Prisoners at Malmesbury Correctional Centre enjoying the state-of-the-art exercise facilities built for them by two former inmates. (Photo: Cape Times)

Prisoners at Malmesbury Correctional Centre enjoying the state-of-the-art exercise facilities built for them by two former inmates. (Photo: Cape Times)

It’s not often that one reads good news about South Africa’s prisons, but today’s press carries three positive articles about prisoner recreation and rehabilitation.

The Independent Online (IOL) carries an uplifting article about two health club executives who were convicted of fraud in 2007 and who spent time in a Western Cape prison. They built a state-of-the-art and fully-sponsored gym in the Malmesbury Medium A Correctional Centre. It is hoped that similar prisons will be built at other correctional facilities.

Read more about the Malmesbury gym and the impact it has had on prisoners.

The print edition of The New Age carries two articles about prisoner rehabilitation.

In an article entitled “Praise for rehabilitation centre’s work”, Elfas Torerai describes programmes offered at the Mafikeng Correctional Centre in the North West province. Prisoners can learn plumbing, bricklaying and other construction-related trades. A computer skills course is also planned. Prisoners can also use parking areas at the prison for sports.

The prison also allows pastors to conduct religious studies with the inmates. According to the article, Methodist pastor Kgosietsile Sedidi said “Many of them [inmates] wish they could take back the wrongs they did to society. Most of the offenders here say if their victims could read their minds they would see how much they have reformed and wish for the day they could offer their apologies.”

Another New Age article “Prison school upgrades uplifts inmates hopes” by Chris Makhaye talks about renovations at a school the Wits Justice Project mentioned on this blog earlier this month. Read more about the Usethubeni Youth School in KwaZulu-Natal and its good matric results and watch a news report on the school.

 

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About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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