NCS struggling to roll out correctional strategy

18 Dec 2018 17:00pm
WINDHOEK, 18 DEC (NAMPA) - The Namibian Correctional Service (NCS) has been struggling to roll out the Offender Risk Management Correctional Strategy (ORMCS) in four out of seven correctional facilities earmarked for the programme.
The information is captured in a dossier recently presented to President Hage Geingob by Commissioner-General Raphael Hamunyela on the progress and future prospects of the NCS.
According to the document, to successfully implement the ORMCS, a correctional facility needs at least one case management officer (CMO) to oversee 20 to 30 offenders.
However, in the current financial year, each NCS correctional officer had to handle a minimum of 46 offenders.
Therefore, Hamunyela implored Government to support the NCS to be able to recruit an additional 12 CMOs for the next financial year.
The request comes at a time of reports the NCS is understaffed by 70 per cent.
“To facilitate this (effective implementation of the ORMCS), the NCS managed to recruit 12 CMOs and two programme officers during this quarter; they are expected to commence duty during the next quarter of this financial year,” reads a section of the report.
This will assist the NCS to provide supportive and directive counselling while implementing individual correctional treatment plans which direct how these offenders are managed and serviced in their preparation for eventual release.
The ORMCS was adopted in 2010 to concentrate on offender management, control, rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders into the community.
The strategy helped to outline weaknesses within the NCS.
“The correctional service has been plagued by a lack of officers with relevant qualifications in the human sciences fields to offer relevant rehabilitation services to offenders,” it further read.
So far 1 808 offenders have benefited from participating in the ORMCS and other support rehabilitation programmes.
The figure includes 1 410 offenders that joined the programmes in the previous financial year, while 465 are new enrolments.
The NCS has fully implemented the ORMCS at the Windhoek, Evaristus Shikongo and Elizabeth Nepemba correctional facilities. The four other facilities were not mentioned in the document.
Furthermore, the brief also reflected on its first gender responsive training that saw 24 correctional officers trained in the effective practices for gender responsive treatment of female offenders during the period under review.