The Correctional Services Department says it has achieved a 97 percent compliance by the 50 000 parolees completing their sentences under community-based correctional supervision.
According to the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster chair, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the compliance level is a three percent improvement from the 201314 financial year.
Addressing a post-State of the Nation Address (SONA) cluster briefing held in Cape Town earlier today, Minister Mapisa-Nqcakula said the identification of high-risk parolees for inclusion in the Electronic Monitoring (EM) system has contributed to the improved compliance levels.
“We will continue to intensify the implementation of various methods used to monitor parolees and probationers such as house detention, community service and electronic monitoring,” she said.
According to Minister Mapisa-Nqakula, by the end of December 2014, 473 high-risk offenders and awaiting-trial persons had been electronically tagged.
The EM system, which is also used to assist vulnerable victims, raises an alarm when tagged high-risk parolees break the distance barriers set to protect victims.
The department has also achieved a 99.97 percent success rate in keeping inmates behind bars, as only 60 of the 157 000 inmates escape with 81.7 rearrested.
Reintegration, new audio-visual system
With regard to the reintegration of offenders, Minister Mapisa-Nqakula said they gly believe that victims of crime must be informed and empowered to continue playing their role in the rehabilitation and social reintegration of offenders.
“In November 2014, we launched a R10 million new audio-visual system which connects 53 offices of the Correctional Supervision and Parole Boards.
“The system, funded through the Crime Assets Recovery Account, has been installed to facilitate more involvement of victims, families and communities during the parole process. The innovation is the first in Africa and follows the best in the world such as Canada, New Zealand and Wales,” the Minister said.
Education, skills development programmes
With regard to education, the minister said more offenders are subjected to correctional programmes, as well as to education and skills development programmes which help change their outlook of life.
Since 2009, more than 108 000 inmates benefited from formal education programmes.
“The number of offenders who wrote their Grade 12 examinations doubled and those who gained university admission also increased significantly,” the Minister said.
According to the Minister, in 2014, more than 4 000 offenders participated in skills-development programmes, including critical technical, agriculture and engineering skills across various fields.
“Over 3 700 offenders participated in Further Education and Training programmes and over 800 were pursuing their university qualifications.
“Thousands of offenders were involved in the maintenance and refurbishment of more than 300 schools across the country, as part of contributing to building a suitable learning and teaching environment. Each of the country’s 243 correctional centres adopted at least one school,” Minister Mapisa-Nqakula said.
Source : SAnews.gov.za