26 Mar 2016 12:10pm
OMARURU, 26 MAR (NAMPA) - The Namibian Correctional Service (NCS) has trained and permanently employed 147 former offenders across the country since last year, NCS Commissioner-General Raphael Tuhafeni Hamunyela revealed on Thursday.
He said this while delivering a presentation on the successes of the Lucius Sumbwanyambe Mahoto Correctional Service Training College in Omaruru to President Hage Geingob when the Head of State visited the institution.
Hamunyela noted that this is a very important milestone for the training institution as it is tasked with rehabilitating and training offenders to ensure they do not re-offend.
It also gives them an opportunity to gain employment and to be reintegrated into society once they complete their sentences.
All 147 were employed in the NSC training workshops.
We dont just lock up people in the cells and feed them. We train them to get practical skills which enable them to get jobs when they are released, but we have an even better story to tell when we employ some of them.
Hamunyela also explained how and when offenders are released without completing their sentences, such as when they are released early for good behaviour.
Those who serve sentences of below five years are released by the National Release Board, which is responsible for making informed, independent and fair decisions regarding parole or probation releases of offenders.
The commissioner-general approves the early release of offenders sentenced to more than five and less than 20 years imprisonment.
Those sentenced to more than 20 years are released by the Minister of Safety and Security.
The President reserves the right to release offenders sentenced to life.
So far six people have been sentenced to life in prison, all in 2014, Hamunyela said.
He also stressed that the correctional service facility at Oluno in the Oshana Region is overcrowded and said there is a need to build more such facilities in northern Namibia to take the pressure off the Oluno facility.