Offenders and victims of crime come together for forgiveness
23 Nov 2012
Correctional Services Minister Sibusiso Ndebele will deliver the keynote address at the official provincial launch of the Victim-Offender Dialogue in Mpumalanga province on Wednesday (28 November 2012).
The Department of Correctional Service is embarking on a renewed focus to bring victims and offenders together in a safe space where relationships can be restored and forgiveness sought.
Media are invited to cover the launch. Details are as follows:
Date: Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Venue: Secunda Stadium, Secunda, Mpumalanga Province
Time: 8h30 for 9h00
Journalists attending must confirm attendance with your name, mobile number and email address by no later than 16h00 on Monday, 26 November 2012, with Tshidi Mapole at Matshidiso.Mapole@dcs.gov.za or 076 478 3620.
The World Prison Brief currently places South Africa in the top ten in terms of our inmate population. South Africa has 51,8 million citizens, and our rate of imprisonment is the highest in Africa.
Crime originated in the community, and, therefore, the community should not only be an important role-player in reporting and preventing crime, but also, along with other role-players, in taking co-responsibility for the rehabilitation and re-integration of the offender into society. To this end, the Department of Correctional Services is embarking on Victim-Offender Dialogues.
The main thrust of this programme is to keep as many people as possible away from imprisonment through reconstruction of family units and community systems as well as victim support and empowerment, while pursuing the rehabilitation of those already incarcerated through well-managed rehabilitation programmes.
Minister Ndebele said the victim must be at the centre of corrections. “The objective of the Victim-Offender Dialogues is to put the victim back at the centre of the corrections system, as the victim is directly, and personally, affected by the criminal act of the offender. Equally, the offender must be given an opportunity to reflect on his or her wrongs and request forgiveness.
We want to create opportunities where various stakeholders defined as victims of crime, those affected personally, their families, communities, community-based organisations, non-governmental organisations, religious and spiritual bodies, educators, councillors and local leaders, will assemble together with offenders with a single purpose to rebuild our communities ravaged by crime. We want to reinforce corrections programmes through music, reading for redemption, creative literature, the arts, cultural events, heritage renewal events, sporting events, formal education and acquisition of skills, economic renewal through cooperatives and enterprise development, spiritual growth and self-correcting interventions, among others. The trilogy of victim, offender and community must play a leading role in the implementation of the Victim-Offender Dialogues as corrections is a societal responsibility,” the Minister said.
Cell: 083 644 4050
Issued by: Department of Correctional Services
23 Nov 2012
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