Adequate custodial staff critical to safety of correctional facilities: Mbumba

Adequate custodial staff is critical in order to ensure safe and secure correctional facilities on a 24-hour basis while creating a conducive environment for the effective delivery of rehabilitation programmes.

These remarks were made by Vice President Nangolo Mbumba while addressing the shortage of custodial officers within the Namibian Correctional Department, required to provide dynamic and human intervention security.

According to Mbumba during the celebration of the 17th Namibian Correctional Services Day (NCS) held in Omaruru on Thursday, this shortage has negatively impacted daily responsibilities of the correctional services such as the manning of entrances and exits, guarding of inmates admitted at public hospitals, amongst others.

‘Therefore, more efforts should be made to ensure that adequate staff are recruited to improve effective delivery of services at our national correctional centres,’ he expressed.

Mbumba however commended the NCS’ Offender Risk Management Correctional Strategy which was implemented in 2010, noting that it has been instrumental in enhancing the effectiveness of Namibia’s correctional system and ensuring the successful rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders.

‘I would also like to express my appreciation and gratitude to all those who are involved in the correctional service for their dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment in carrying out their demanding duties and further acknowledge the resilience and determination of the offenders who have taken steps towards rehabilitation.’

Erongo Governor Neville Andre Itope also emphasised the crucial role the correctional service, in ensuring public safety, maintaining order and providing opportunities for offenders to reintegrate into society.

According to Itope, in 2022 in the Erongo Region, 72 inmates were enrolled in the Thinking and Living Skills for Re-Integration programme, whilst 69 completed several other programmes offered during their rehabilitation.

‘I would therefore like to commend the Namibian Government, through the NCS for creating an opportunity to raise awareness of the department and the commendable work it does to foster community engagement, and to advocate for positive changes within the correctional system,’ he concluded.

The event was held under the theme ‘Striving towards a Safe Society through Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Offenders’.

It was also attended by Commissioner Generals of the Zimbabwean, Eswatini, Zambian, South African and Botswana Correctional Services/Prisons.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency