12 Jun 2019 17:00pm
WINDHOEK, 12 JUN (NAMPA) The refurbished Female Correctional Centre at the Windhoek Correctional Facility was officially inaugurated by First Lady Monica Geingos here on Wednesday.
The centre has the capacity to house 108 female inmates and consists of two living units, a programme area and a health clinic.
It currently houses 89 inmates and five babies, the Commissioner General of the Namibian Correctional Service (NCS), Raphael Hamunyela, said at the event.
Geingos pledged to furnish the facilities to host babies within the centre.
We will do this mainly because of the women who are incarcerated either with small babies or who come in already pregnant. Until the age of two it is important for a mother to breastfeed or even if it is just for bonding purposes, she said.
Hamunyela mentioned that the facility has a child-friendly area, designed to provide a harmonic environment for children under the age of two years, to assist in strengthening and building bonds with their mothers.
The centre is meant to provide female offenders access to social and educational programmes that give them an opportunity to rehabilitate and reintegrate back into society as law-abiding citizens, he also stressed.
These programmes take cognisance of the uniqueness of women and their distinctiveness in their motives to perpetrate crimes, he explained.
Hamunyela further said the process of rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders is a huge task that requires concerted effort from everyone.
He thus urged potential stakeholders to support the NCS in the implementation of its mandate of providing safe, secure and humane custody of offenders.
Assistance can be provided in the form of training for both officers and offenders and providing employment for those who are released, as well as accommodation.
The government is giving us money to implement rehabilitation programmes, yet neither government nor you want to employ offenders, so why then do you want us to provide rehabilitation programmes? argued Hamunyela.
He stated that they are confident that with the support of the stakeholders, the centre will release well rehabilitated female offenders.