Minister Mapisa-Nqakula launches a Juvenile-Parent Dialogue
3 Dec 2010
Correctional Service Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula expressed concerns about scores of juveniles and children incarcerated in correctional centres that are not visited by parents, families and communities.
Addressing an imbizo gathering to launch a special campaign to promote dialogue between juveniles and parents, Minister Mapisa-Nqakula said less than 25 percent of tens of thousands juveniles incarcerated in correctional centres nationally receive visits from parents and families in a given year.
“I am calling on all parents to visit their children who are incarcerated; It is one of the most reassuring supports you can give them. There is no life more hopeless than that of a child who knows that even his own parents have lost hope in him,” Minister Mapisa-Nqakula said while addressing over 500 juveniles, parents and members of the public at Lingelihle Community Hall in Cradock in the Eastern Cape today, 3 December 2010.
Cradock Youth Centre is housing 274 juveniles coming from various areas of the Eastern Cape with only a fraction of them (4) with parents living in the Cradock district. The department designated Cradock Correctional Centre as a youth centre and centralised custody for all young offenders between 14 and 20 years of age.Minister Mapisa-Nqakula committed the department to provide support for needy parents of juveniles who struggle to afford visits.
Minister Mapisa-Nqakula announced that the dedicated youth facility will have a full time school from 2011 so that poor levels of juvenile involvement in rehabilitation programmes can be turned around. She expressed concerns about the fact that only 69 of the 174 sentenced juveniles were studying at the centre. The Cradock Youth Centre will have up to grade 10 in 2011, with plans to progressively introduce grades 11 and 12 two years later.
She narrated a story of scores of lifers applying for parole who came into the facilities with Sub-A (Grade1) in the 1980s and left the facilities after serving life sentences in 2010 still with sub-A (Grade1). She said these are guaranteed cases of reoffending, hence the introduction of the compulsory rehabilitation programmes particularly for juveniles.
She called on parents and communities to affirm their love for the juveniles in order to build the necessary emotional stability which is crucial for effective participation in rehabilitation programmes. “There is no dust-bin for throwing away people,” Minister Mapisa-Nqakula said while calling on parents to provide support structures to incarcerated juveniles.
The initiative of Minister Mapisa-Nqakula received thumbs up from many juveniles and parents that participated in the dialogue facilitated by Professor Velile Notshulwana who is also a member of the National Council of Correctional Services and Executive Dean of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
The minister is expected to take the campaign to other regions of Correctional Services next year. Enquiries:
Cell: 082 045 3963
Issued by: Department of Correctional Services
3 Dec 2010
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