Deputy Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services Dr. Granisia Musango has urged the corporate sector be open to and welcome back ex prisoners into the community by employing them in their companies.
She said this yesterday during a media tour of the production and rehabilitation programme held at Hurungwe Prison Farm in Mashonaland West Province.
Dr. Musango, who is also responsible for correctional services, said that the rehabilitation exercise was a way of transforming the prisoners’ lives for them to be accommodated back into the community once they had served their time, adding that various stakeholders had a mandate to accept ex convicts in their companies, insisting that most of the prisoners will be reformed citizens by the time leave jail.
“What we are saying is that when the prisoners are serving their time in prison, they are actually undergoing different programmes are meant to transform them and to build their capacity in different aspects of life so that when they are released back into society they contribute positively and so the corporate sector must try and accept them and view them like any other citizen who is coming in to contribute to that company.” She stated.
The Deputy Commissioner General also also urged companies not to view ex convicts with suspicion adding that they can also offer the same contribution that is being offered by other members of the community, reiterating that some of the prisoners commit crimes out of naivety and would have been reformed by the correctional services.
“They can give maximum contribution just like any other person who hasn’t not been in prison because especially some of them come to prison with their skills. You can see that they commit crimes maybe in different companies where they will be working, so coming to prison does not take away that knowledge some of them have the knowledge but the only issue is maybe they have wronged the society what they need is a mindset for transformation as a way for them to start afresh.” She added.
Meanwhile In her speech Dr Musango also added that the aim of their rehabilitation programme was to to focus on the prisoners behavioral changes, while promoting them with life survival skills which will be a way for them to be welcomed back into the community.
“The aim of the ZPCS rehabilitation programmes such as the agricultural activities is to promote behavioral reform and empowering inmates with life survival skills in preparation for their successful reintegration back into society.
“Prison farms provides inmates with useful and productive work ethics and attitudes good for their psychological and physiological support as well as good farming practices. However, the greatest challenge is on reintegration upon release from prison given that ex-offenders are faced with numerous challenges that weaken the possibility of reform and predispose ex-offenders to re-offending. Unemployment is one serious problem that is experienced by most ex-offenders, despite them having the necessary skills and qualifications.” She added.
The Deputy Commissioner General DR. G Musango was accompanied by Commissioner Luke Zvondai Mukuvire who is the Commissioner Production and Rehabilitation, Commissioner Ernest Pambayi who is the Officer Commanding mash west province, Superitended Peter Ndemera who is the Provincial Farm Manager and Chief Correctional Officer T Masara who is the Officer In Charge Of Hurungwe Prison.
Meanwhile Deputy Commissioner General Dr G Musango welcomed different stakeholders who are willing to come and help them improve the prisons infrastructure.